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Monday, April 2, 2012

Arcadia city officials grapple with Chinese language ballot error

Arcadia city election officials have spent the last week trying to minimize the confusion from a Chinese translation error on the all-mail ballot for the city's general municipal election in April.

The ballot, mailed to residents this month, provided instructions in four languages. English, Vietnamese and Spanish speakers read that they should "vote for no more than two" of the five candidates for City Council.
In Chinese, the instructions read: "Vote for no more than three."
Ballots with more than two votes for city council members, however, would have been flagged as an "overvote," voiding that portion of the ballot.
"We've never had an error like this before," said Lisa Mussenden, Arcadia's chief deputy city clerk and records manager. "The city is going to do whatever it can to reach out and try to minimize the error."
Since last Wednesday, when a Chinese-speaking voter called the city clerk about the translation error, officials have published notices in local papers, printed fliers and announced it at last week's candidates' forum hosted by the Arcadia Chinese Assn.

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