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US voter registration forms in Gujarati

Residents of the US state of New Jersey will now be able to obtain voter registration material in Gujarati.

News18test sharma |

Updated:January 18, 2008, 1:24 PM IST
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US voter registration forms in Gujarati
Residents of the US state of New Jersey will now be able to obtain voter registration material in Gujarati.
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Washington: Residents of the US state of New Jersey will now be able to obtain voter registration material in Gujarati.

New Jersey has a sizeable Gujarati population and this is first time that voter registration materials anywhere in the country will be available in a South Asian language.

Spearheaded by the Asian American Legal Defence and Education Fund (AALDEF), various organisations, including SAALT, have campaigned for translation of voter registration forms since 2003.

Naturalization rates within the community are on the rise nationwide, yet significant segments of the South Asian population living in the US are limited English proficient (LEP), the South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT) has pointed out in its latest newsletter.

It said that one half of Bangladeshis, one third of Pakistanis, and nearly one quarter of Indians in the US fall in the category.

"Language differences should not be an obstacle in the electoral process. Providing translated voter materials in South Asian languages is one way of ensuring that all citizens are able to participate in the political process," it said.

In 2004, the former Attorney General of New Jersey had promised the forms, but it was not until very recently that the forms were translated, printed, addressed, and postage-paid as all other state voter registration forms.

The US Presidential elections in the US are scheduled to be held in November.

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