May 24 primary election materials available in Spanish, KoreanA voter shows their sticker and stylus after casting a ballot at the Decatur Recreation Center on Tuesday, Nov. 2, Election Day. Photo by Dean Hesse.
By Logan C. Ritchie, contributor
DeKalb County, GA — DeKalb Elections is again offering election information in Spanish and Korean for the May 24 primary.
The county elections office made history in 2020, becoming the first Georgia county to translate voter materials in Spanish and Korean voluntarily.
Expanding access to information for Limited English Proficient (LEP) communities has allowed county officials to share important information about voting options while also providing a composite ballot in the two additional languages, according to a press release.
In partnership with Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Atlanta and GALEO, DeKalb Elections is offering translated materials through the June runoff and November General Election.
“Every voter should be heard, no matter what language they speak. We applaud DeKalb County for paving the way for increased language access for Georgia voters and are pleased that other counties are following their example. We look forward to continuing to push for greater access for all of our diverse communities,” said Phi Nguyen, executive director of Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Atlanta.
Ramses Jimenez, community organizer for GALEO, agreed.
“As we continue to fight for accessibility for non-English speakers in Georgia, we are excited to partner with Dekalb County to ensure all voters are educated and informed. Society has ignored the marginalized voices for far too long, and we are excited to be part of the change,” Jimenez said.
Before translated materials are shared with the public, DeKalb Elections’ community partners conduct a thorough review for accuracy and cultural sensitivity.
“We’re currently engaging with our communities to learn more about what types of tools people need, so we can ensure all voters in DeKalb feel informed and inspired to get out there and vote,” said Dele Lowman Smith, board chair for DeKalb County VRE. “We are committed to the voters of DeKalb County and look forward to expanding our translation program in the future.”