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Schenectady County MOA Final[1]

Schenectady County MOA Final[1]

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Published by Rick Karlin

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Published by: Rick Karlin on Sep 13, 2012
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09/13/2012

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ATTORNEYGENERALSTATE
OFNEWYORKCIVILRIGHTS
BUREAU
-----------------------------------------------------------------------x
In
the
matter
of:MEMORANDUM
OF
AGREEMENT
(MOA)SCHENECTADYCOUNTYBOARD
OF
ELECTIONSCONCERNINGMINORITYLANGUAGEACCESS
-----------------------------------------------------------------------x
WHEREAS,
theCounty
of
Schenectady,NewYorkhasapopulation
of
154,727
people,
5.7
percent
of
whomidentifyasHispanicand
3.5
percent
of
whomareAmericans
of
PuertoRicanorigin,andtheCity
of
Schenectady,NewYork,located
in
SchenectadyCounty,hasapopulation
of
66,135
people,
10.5
percent
of
whomidentifyasHispanicand
7.1
percent
of
whomareAmericans
of
PuertoRicanorigin(hereinafter"minoritylanguagevoters");
WHEREAS,
forminoritylanguagevoters,languagecanbeabarriertoexercisingtherighttovote;
WHEREAS,
theSchenectadyCountyBoard
of
Elections(BOE)recognizestheimportance
of
ensuringthat
alI
eligibleindividuals
of
votingagehaveequalaccesstothepoliticalprocess;
WHEREAS,
thepurpose
of
thisMOA
is
tomemorializetheBOE'scooperationwiththeNewYorkStateAttorneyGeneral'sOffice(OAG),andcommitmenttoimplementingandmaintainingeffectivepolicies,proceduresandtrainingprotocolstoensurethatminoritylanguagevotersareprovidedameaningfulopportunitytoregistertovoteandcastaneffectivebalIot
on
ElectionDay.Thiscommitmentincludesnotonlyensuringthatminoritylanguagevotershaveaccesstoabilingualballot,butthatallelection-relatedmaterials,includingvoterregistrationdetailsanddeadlines,pol1ingplacenotices,samplebalIots,absenteeballotapplicationsandmaterials,affidavitballots,andotherinformationdisseminated
in
Englisharealsoavailable
in
Spanish;and
WHEREAS,
theBOEhascommittedtoimplementingmany
of
thefolIowingpolicies,procedures,andprotocolsforminoritylanguagevotersthroughouttheCounty
of
Schenectady.
NOW,
THEREFORE,
theSchenectadyCountyBOEagreesasfollows:
STANDARDS
OFPRACTICE
WithrespecttotheNovember
6,
2012
generalelection,andallsubsequentelectionsconductedbytheSchenectadyCountyBoard
of
Elections:
1
 
ElectionDayInformation
1.
Atminimum,
in
allpollingplaceslocated
in
censustractswherethePuertoRicanpopulation
is
five
[5]
percentorgreater,theHOEshallprovideormakeavailablethefollowingelection-relatedmaterials
in
bothEnglishandSpanish:
a.
Theofficialballot;
b.
Sampleballots;c.Affidavitballots;d.Voterregistrationcardsandapplications;e.AnyvotereducationmaterialsprovidedbytheHOE;and
f.
PollingplacesignageandHOENotices.
Translation
ofOther
BOEPrintedMaterials
2.Atminimum,
in
allcensustractswherethePuertoRicanpopulation
is
five
[5]
percentorgreater,theHOEshallprovideormakeavailablethefollowingelection-relatedmaterialsthataredistributedtovoters
in
bothEnglishandSpanish:
a.
Notices
of
pollingplacereassignment;
b.
Confirmations
of
voterregistration;
c.
Notices
of
changestovoterregistration;
d.
Electionnoticespublished
in
localnewspapers.
Translation
oflnformation
ProvidedonBOEWebsite
3.TheHOEshallensurethatelection-relatedinformationandservicesprovided
in
English
on
itswebsiteareavailable
in
equivalentform
in
Spanish.Suchtranslationmaybeaccomplishedthroughtheuse
of
awebsitetranslatoricon,providedthatsuchicon
is
visibleandeasilyidentifiable.
Training
and
Development
of
ProtocolsonBilingualAssistance
4.TheHOEwilltakereasonablestepstoensurethatitsemployeesandelectioninspectorsorjudgesaretrainedatleastonceduringanyyear
in
whichanelection
is
scheduledandconducted
on
thepoliciesandproceduresforeffectivelycommunicatingwithminoritylanguagevotersandforprovidingtimelyandmeaningfulbilingualassistance.Topicstobeaddressed
in
suchtraininginclude,butarenotlimitedto:a.Processforaddressingtheneeds
of
andprovidingassistancetominoritylanguagevoters;
b.
Availability
of
bilingualorSpanishlanguageballots;2
 
c.Availability
of
otherbilingualmaterialsinsidepollingplacesonElectionDay,includingnotices,sampleballots,andaffidavitapplications;
d.
Availability
of
bilingualpoll-workers;e.Availabilityandprocedureforaccessingtelephonictranslationservices;and
f.
Therights
of
minoritylanguagevoterstoreceiveassistancefromtheperson
of
theirchoice.
RecruitmentandHiring
of
BilingualPersonnelandElectionInspectors
5.TheBOEwilltakestepstorecruit,hireandretainsufficientnumbers
of
bilingualstaffandelectioninspectorsorjudges,andensurethatatleastonebilingualelectioninspectororjudge
is
assignedandavailable
in
allpollingplacesthatserveatleastonecensustractwherethePuertoRicanpopulation
is
greaterthanfive[5]percent.TheBOEwillalsoutilizeanassessmenttooltomeasuretheproficiencylevel
of
itsbilingualstaff,electioninspectorsorjudges.
Use
of
TelephonicTranslationServices
6.TheBOEwillhaveavailableandmakeuse
of
aprivatetelephonictranslationservice,suchasLanguageLine,torespondtoinquiriesdirectedtotheBOEofficeortoinquiriesdirectedtopollworkersatsiteswherenobilingualstaffpersonisavailable.
PeriodicReassessment
of
LanguageNeeds
7.
TheBOEwillundertakeaperiodicreassessment
of
thenumbers
of
minoritylanguagevotersandlocation
of
theneedforbilingualelectionmaterialsonceeveryfiveyearsusinginfonnationprovidedbyU.S.CensusBureaumid-decadepopulationestimatesand/orotherinformationprovidedbyresidents
of
SchenectadyCountytodeterminewhethernewpollingplacesshouldbedesignatedforbilingualmaterialsinfutureelections.
PublicizingRevisedBOEBilingualVoting
Program
8.
TheBOEwilltakethefollowingstepswithrespecttotheMemorandum
of
Agreement("theMOA")within60days
of
itseffectivedate:
a.
Distribution
of
theMOAtoallBOEemployees;b.Creatingalinkonthehomepage
of
the
BOE's
websitetoboththeEnglishandSpanishlanguageversions
of
theMOA,whichshallbeprovidedbytheOAG;3

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