The United States Electoral Assistance Commission (EAC) has finally released voter registration forms by national mail in the Diné, Apache, and Yup’ik languages. This is the first time that the federal commission has published mail-in voting material in any Native American language.

The EAC is responsible for maintaining the national mail-in voter registration form and the forms are now available in 21 languages, but this is the first dedicated extension of this effort to serve Native American communities.

To help voters in communities where languages ​​are mainly or only spoken have equal access to material, the EAC is providing its very first audio translation of the National Voter Registration Form by mail. Voters wishing to use the Apache translation will have access to an audio file that speaks to them through the form. The EAC will seek to use audio translations, where appropriate, in future translations.

“Election terminology can often be difficult to translate into other languages ​​without the help of native speakers and translators,” EAC commissioners said in a joint statement. “With access to electoral materials translated by native speakers of their own community, Native American voters will have a better understanding of the electoral process and greater accessibility. ”

Samantha Mack, Language Support Compliance Officer at the Alaska Elections Division, said, “We are delighted that the EAC is posting content in one of our native languages! Alaska natives deserve fair access to all parts of the electoral process, and translating important forms and content into our native languages ​​is an important step in that direction.

While the expansion of these translations is a critical step in expanding access to voter registration, the EAC will continue to identify additional ways to help election officials serve Native American populations within the community. their jurisdictions.

For more information on EAC’s language access resources and other materials to help voters with English as a second language and the election officials who serve them, visit https://www.eac.gov/election-officials/language-access.