Lost in translation: Gwinnett Co. voters unhappy with Spanish vo - CBS46 News

Lost in translation: Gwinnett Co. voters unhappy with Spanish voting material

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(Source: WGCL) (Source: WGCL)
GWINNETT COUNTY, GA (CBS46) -

Please note that the City of Norcross has asked us to clarify that, while the graphics associated with the video presentation of this story show that the footage illustrating the broadcast was shot and the interviews conducted in the City of Norcross, none of the alleged translation issues reported on in the story relate to the City of Norcross or its voting and polling personnel.

City leaders are scrambling to comply with providing voting materials in Spanish to Gwinnett County’s large Latino population.

Josephine is one of 171,000 Latinos living in the county and eligible to vote. The Spanish-speaker says she is disappointed with her county’s efforts to provide voting material and assistance in her native language.

“They have to comply and have all types of all Spanish material information,” she said.

This summer the Georgia Association of Latino elected officials put pressure on the county to offer assistance to Latino voters. Under the Federal Voting Rights Act, local leaders must provide Spanish-language voting material to their constituents.

“If that information is not correct it will dissuade a lot of the voters from going or trying to come back to election polls or just lose faith in the election system.”

Which is why Latino advocacy groups are not satisfied. They claim that several cities in the county are using translations on their websites that are “not fully accurate nor complete.”

“We sent a letter regarding their automatic translation tools which are sometimes are very inaccurate, don’t make grammatical sense for Latino speakers or readers. We also see that there is not enough signage or staff to help the Latino population who would be very excited to go vote.”

CBS 46 reporter Astrid Martinez logged on to Gwinnett County City’s website and noticed there were several misspellings and incorrect grammar in sentences.

A basic one is how ballots on the Duluth page is translated to pellets.

“It has been about a year, so they’ve had 10 months to get ready for this and we still see that they have one or two bilingual staffers to help out.”

City leaders believe that they are already in compliance but are willing to meet with the advocacy groups to improve better service to the community in the future.

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