About Language Assistance
What types of language assistance does Alaska provide?
The Voting Rights Act of 1965 requires the Division of Elections to provide language assistance to groups whose language is Spanish, Native American, Alaska Native, or one of the Asian languages if more than five percent of the voting age population speaks limited English.
The State of Alaska is covered under Section 203 of the Voting Rights Act for Alaska Native languages. In addition, communities along the Aleutian chain are covered for Filipino (Tagalog) and Spanish.
Alaska's language assistance plan provides translated election materials for languages that are historically written and oral language assistance for languages, such as Alaska Native languages, which are historically unwritten.
In addition to on-call interpreters available on Election Day, the Division of Elections provides oral language assistance through the use of bilingual registrars, outreach workers, bilingual poll workers, and translators in communities where there is a need. The Division of Elections also produces audio translations of election information and translated radio and TV announcements.
The Division of Elections uses the Voting Rights Act, census information and surveys to determine where language assistance is needed. Based on information gathered from the census and contacts made with tribal officials across Alaska, the following languages appear to have the greatest limited English proficient voting age population:
- Filipino (Tagalog)
- Spanish (Español)
- Siberian Yupik
- Northern Inupiaq and Seward Peninsula Inupiaq
- Koyukon Athabascan
- Gwich'in Athabascan
If you are in need of language assistance during any stage of the electoral process in an Alaska Native language or in Filipino (Tagalog), our election workers can assist you or you may have a person of your choice provide assistance to you as long as that person is not a candidate, your employer, agent of your employer, or agent of your union. The person you choose to assist you may go into the voting booth with you to help you in casting your ballot.
How can you help?
The Division of Elections hires bilingual workers each election cycle to provide language assistance to voters. If you are fluent in English and one of the Alaska Native languages or Filipino (Tagalog), and would like to serve as a bilingual voter registrar, outreach worker or poll worker, please contact the Regional Elections Office for your area, or to complete and submit our bilingual election worker application.