In accordance with the provisions of the Virginia Voting Rights Act, voters in Richmond are now offered ballots that include all text in English and Spanish for the first time ever.
When voting in the upcoming election, whether early, absentee, or on the day of the election, Richmond voters who prefer to speak Spanish will have automatic access to accurate translations of all ballot instructions and items. According to the most recent data from the U.S. Census, Hispanic individuals now represent 10.5 percent of the city’s total population.
“The work of my office is contingent on a core belief: the right to vote is the foundational principle of our democracy,” said General Registrar and Director of Elections Keith Balmer. “Because of this commonsense addition to the ballot, that right is now more secure and accessible for any Richmonders who are more comfortable communicating in Spanish rather than English.”
The ballot was made possible by a collaboration between the General Registrar’s Office and the city’s Office of Immigrant and Refugee Engagement (OIRE). “We are thrilled to collaborate with the General Registrar,” Says OIRE Manager Karla Almendarez-Ramos. “Ensuring the highest quality of translation for all ballots is part of our Language Access Program. This guarantees a more inclusive and accessible voting process.”
The General Registrar’s Office invited any organizations focusing on Spanish language voter outreach to contact the office to facilitate collaboration and deliver reliable voter information.
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