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Chamber group translates voting information to several languages
Hindi Voting Info
Members of the Forsyth County Chamber of Commerce's Inclusion and Diversity Council recently translated voting information to Hindi (above), Tamil, Gujarati, Bengali, Kannada and Telugu. - photo by For the FCN

The Forsyth County Chamber of Commerce has posted voting information in a number of new languages to make voting more accessible in the county.

At a Forsyth County Commissioners’ work session, the board heard from Jimmy Lane, executive vice president of the Forsyth County Chamber of Commerce, and members of the chamber’s Inclusion and Diversity Panel, who gave a presentation on issuing voter information in Hindi, Tamil, Gujarati, Bengali, Kannada and Telugu

“One of the things that we’ve worked on is how do we get the word out to a greater number of people on how to vote, where to vote and all the detailed information,” Lane told commissioners, “so what we’d like for you to consider today is the addition of, I believe it’s seven, other voter information [flyers] to add to the site in seven different languages.”

Nazeera Dawood, a member of the committee, said she had met with volunteers who worked to translate a flyer of voting information, which was already available in Spanish, “exactly word for word” in some of the languages

“This is the way you include [people,] showing that you respect or acknowledge the language they speak, and this is one way that you can show, especially during this time since it is increasing voter awareness,” she said. 

Members of the roundtable said the translations were reviewed by multiple speakers of the languages to ensure accuracy. 

District 4 Commissioner Cindy Jones Mills, who helped form the roundtable, said the group was aware that the proposal didn’t include all languages spoken in Forsyth County but was the first step.

District 1 Commissioner Molly Cooper said she would also like to see the information translated into Cantonese, Mandarin and Korean.

Lane said those translations were “a work in progress” and the group had been expanding on a weekly basis.

“Any recommendations of who we could reach out to for that would be great,” he said. “We would love to be able to have dozens and dozens of languages for things like this or have the resources to turn to them. We really turned this around in just a couple of days, so we are limited to what we have, and it can continue to grow and we would welcome that opportunity if [commissioners] would allow that.”