Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someone
Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someone
DSC_0113w
DSC_0113w
A bill, co-sponsored by State Senator Toby Ann Stavisky and Assemblymember David Weprin, would direct the county’s Board of Elections to provide written language assistance in Bengali, Punjabi and Hindi on ballots, signs, voter mailings, employee and volunteer training material and information on the BOE’s web site.

Two elected officials and a coalition of South Asian community leaders pushed for the passage of a bill that would put Bengali, Punjabi and Hindi on ballots and election material in the borough.

The bill, co-sponsored by State Senator Toby Ann Stavisky and Assemblymember David Weprin, would direct the county’s Board of Elections (BOE) to provide written language assistance in Bengali, Punjabi and Hindi on ballots, signs, voter mailings, employee and volunteer training material and information on the BOE’s web site.

The legislation, Weprin said, would increase voter turnout at the polls and voter access.

“The growing South Asian community in Queens is highly focused on civic engagement,” Stavisky said. “We must pass this bill to make life easier for people who are simply trying to exercise their rights.”

Democratic District Leader Albert Baldeo, who was defeated in a tight Senate race in 2006, said the lack of languages on the ballot negatively impacted his run.

Baldeo said he lost by a very small margin — some 387 votes — during his failed try at election in the 15th District because “the minority vote was suppressed.”

“There are many instances of people getting sent away from the polls, people who were actually discouraged from voting from poll site workers, because there was no assistance to speak to them in their language or in written materials,” said Baldeo.

While Weprin said the BOE had raised concerns over the print on the ballot getting too small, a spokesperson said the agency has not yet taken an official stance on the matter.

There is only one week left to get the green light for the bill since the legislative session is scheduled to end June 21.

Comments:

Join The Discussion



Related Stories
Seniors rally in Bayside against state budget cuts that could force 65 senior centers to close citywide
Seniors rally in Bayside against state budget cuts that could force 65 senior centers to close citywide
After a construction do-over, a bridge over the railroad tracks in Flushing is finally reopened
After a construction do-over, a bridge over the railroad tracks in Flushing is finally reopened
Popular Stories
Photo courtesy of CNN/Parts Unknown
Anthony Bourdain will eat his way through Queens in Sunday's episode of 'Parts Unknown'
Photo: Twitter/@NYPD106Pct
UPDATE: Howard Beach man dies of injuries after being struck by a car while crossing the street
Inset photo via Wikimedia Commons/Photo via NYPD
Police are looking for Queensbridge Houses resident who shot a man in front of the development


Skip to toolbar