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VOA慢速英语:数百万美国人不会在选举中用英语投票

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Tuesday, November 8 is Election Day in the United States.

11月8日,星期二,是美国的选举日。

This year, American voters will be taking part in what is known as midterm elections. The elections are called this because they happen nearly two years - or about the middle point - into the term of the U.S. president.

今年,美国选民将参加所谓的中期选举。之所以称之为中期选举,是因为它发生在美国总统任期近两年——或者说大约中间点——的时候。

Members of the U.S. House of Representatives are elected every two years. So in the midterms, all 435 House seats are decided. In addition, every two years one third of U.S. Senate members are either elected or leave their seats at the end of the term.

美国众议院议员每两年选举一次。因此,在中期选举中,所有435个众议院席位都将确定。此外,每两年,三分之一的美国参议院议员要么当选,要么在任期结束时离任。

American voters will also be choosing governors, state lawmakers and local officials. The election results will decide which party controls Congress, as well as state offices and legislatures.

美国选民还将选出择州长、州议员和地方官员。选举结果将决定哪个政党控制国会,以及州政府和立法机构。

In order to vote in federal and state elections, a person must be a U.S. citizen and be at least 18 years of age. The person also has to meet the state residency requirements. In every state except North Dakota, people must also register to become voters.

为了在联邦和州选举中投票,选民必须是美国公民并且年满18岁。此人还必须满足州居住要求。除北达科他州外的每个州,人们必须登记才能成为选民。

This year, more than 80 million Americans will have the chance to vote in a language other than English. That is because U.S. federal law guarantees that certain groups of people can receive language assistance in the voting process.

今年,超过8000万美国人将有机会用英语以外的语言投票。这是因为美国联邦法律保证某些群体可以在投票过程中获得语言援助。

Gabe Osterhout is a researcher at the Idaho Policy Institute at Boise State University. He said, "The idea was to take groups that were historically excluded from the electoral process, and the mission was to make it more accessible for some of those groups."

加布·奥斯特胡特是博伊西州立大学爱达荷政策研究所的研究员。他说,“我们的想法是将历史上被排除在选举进程之外的群体纳入其中,我们的任务是让其中一些群体更容易参与选举。”

The Voting Rights Act of 1965 was signed into law to protect the right to vote for African Americans mainly in the South. The act was expanded in 1975 to include certain language minorities. These included Native Americans, Alaska Natives, Latinos and Asian Americans.

1965年的选举权法案被签署为法律,以保护主要在南方的非裔美国人的投票权。1975年,该法案扩大到包括某些少数语言群体。包括美洲原住民、阿拉斯加原住民、拉美人和亚裔美国人。

Jim Tucker is a lawyer with the Voting Rights Project at the nonprofit Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. He noted that for citizens with limited knowledge of English, voting information can be "a barrier to the ability to participate."

吉姆·塔克是非营利组织民权律师委员会投票权项目的律师。他指出,对于英语知识有限的公民来说,投票信息可能是“参与能力的障碍”。

How do officials decide on languages?

如何决定用哪种语言?

Every five years, the U.S. Census Bureau chooses which minority language groups will receive help with information in their native language.

每五年,美国人口普查局会选择哪些少数民族语言群体将获得母语信息方面的帮助。

That decision is based on whether more than 5 percent of eligible voters in an area speak limited English, or if there are more than 10,000 eligible voters in an area with limited English ability. Local elections officials are then required to offer voting materials, including ballots, in that second language.

这一决定是基于一个地区是否有超过5%的合格选民英语水平有限,或者一个地区有超过10000名合格选民的英语能力有限。然后,地方选举官员被要求提供第二语言的投票材料,包括选票。

In December 2021, the U.S. Census identified 331 areas that meet the requirements ahead of the 2022 midterm elections. Most of the covered areas, called jurisdictions, are in three states, California, Florida and Texas. Those states must provide Spanish-language voting materials in every statewide election.

2021年12月,美国在2022年中期选举之前,人口普查确定了331个符合要求的地区。大多数覆盖区域,称为司法管辖区,位于加利福尼亚州、佛罗里达州和德克萨斯州三个州。这些州必须在每一次全州选举中提供西班牙语投票材料。

Registration and voting data from November 1996 and 2000 found evidence that the addition of a second language has "positive effects on the voting rates of covered linguistic minorities."

1996年11月和2000年11月的登记和投票数据发现,增加第二语言对“语言少数群体的投票率有积极影响”。

The research was carried out by professors Michael Jones-Correa and Israel Waismel-Manor. It found that voter turnout among Latinos was 11 percent higher in areas covered by the language requirements than in those that did not provide materials and assistance in Spanish. The professors also found that voter registration among Latinos was 15 percent higher in areas that provided language assistance than those that did not.

这项研究是由迈克尔·琼斯-科雷亚教授和伊斯雷尔·韦斯梅尔·马诺教授进行的。调查发现,在语言要求覆盖的地区,拉美裔选民的投票率比那些没有提供西班牙语材料和援助的地区高11%。教授们还发现,在提供语言援助的地区,拉美裔选民登记率比没有提供语言援助地区高15%。

Tucker observed large participation increases in all four groups covered under the language requirements. These include American Indians, Alaska Natives, Latino or Spanish-speaking voters, and Asian Americans who speak Asian languages since 1975.

塔克观察到,在语言要求所涵盖的所有四个群体中,参与人数都大幅增加。这些人包括美洲印第安人、阿拉斯加土著人、拉丁裔或西班牙语选民,以及自1975年以来说亚洲语言的亚裔美国人。

The Voting Rights Act was supposed to end by 1970, but it has been extended five times. The last extension, for 25 years, came in 2006.

《投票权法案》本应在1970年结束,但已经延长了五次。上一次延期是在2006年,为期25年。

I'm Jill Robbins.

吉尔·罗宾斯报道。

Tuesday, November 8 is Election Day in the United States.

This year, American voters will be taking part in what is known as midterm elections. The elections are called this because they happen nearly two years - or about the middle point - into the term of the U.S. president.

Members of the U.S. House of Representatives are elected every two years. So in the midterms, all 435 House seats are decided. In addition, every two years one third of U.S. Senate members are either elected or leave their seats at the end of the term.

American voters will also be choosing governors, state lawmakers and local officials. The election results will decide which party controls Congress, as well as state offices and legislatures.

In order to vote in federal and state elections, a person must be a U.S. citizen and be at least 18 years of age. The person also has to meet the state residency requirements. In every state except North Dakota, people must also register to become voters.

This year, more than 80 million Americans will have the chance to vote in a language other than English. That is because U.S. federal law guarantees that certain groups of people can receive language assistance in the voting process.

Gabe Osterhout is a researcher at the Idaho Policy Institute at Boise State University. He said, "The idea was to take groups that were historically excluded from the electoral process, and the mission was to make it more accessible for some of those groups."

The Voting Rights Act of 1965 was signed into law to protect the right to vote for African Americans mainly in the South. The act was expanded in 1975 to include certain language minorities. These included Native Americans, Alaska Natives, Latinos and Asian Americans.

Jim Tucker is a lawyer with the Voting Rights Project at the nonprofit Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. He noted that for citizens with limited knowledge of English, voting information can be "a barrier to the ability to participate."

How do officials decide on languages?

Every five years, the U.S. Census Bureau chooses which minority language groups will receive help with information in their native language.

That decision is based on whether more than 5 percent of eligible voters in an area speak limited English, or if there are more than 10,000 eligible voters in an area with limited English ability. Local elections officials are then required to offer voting materials, including ballots, in that second language.

In December 2021, the U.S. Census identified 331 areas that meet the requirements ahead of the 2022 midterm elections. Most of the covered areas, called jurisdictions, are in three states, California, Florida and Texas. Those states must provide Spanish-language voting materials in every statewide election.

Registration and voting data from November 1996 and 2000 found evidence that the addition of a second language has "positive effects on the voting rates of covered linguistic minorities."

The research was carried out by professors Michael Jones-Correa and Israel Waismel-Manor. It found that voter turnout among Latinos was 11 percent higher in areas covered by the language requirements than in those that did not provide materials and assistance in Spanish. The professors also found that voter registration among Latinos was 15 percent higher in areas that provided language assistance than those that did not.

Tucker observed large participation increases in all four groups covered under the language requirements. These include American Indians, Alaska Natives, Latino or Spanish-speaking voters, and Asian Americans who speak Asian languages since 1975.

The Voting Rights Act was supposed to end by 1970, but it has been extended five times. The last extension, for 25 years, came in 2006.

I'm Jill Robbins.

Dora Mekouar reported this story for VOA News. Hai Do adapted the story for Learning English.

_______________________________________________________________________

Words in This Story

residency - n. the state or fact of living in a place

accessible - adj. easy to appreciate or understand

participate - v. to take part in an activity

eligible - adj. able to do or receive something

positive - adj. good or useful


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