Section 203 Fact Sheets
The Language Assistance Provisions (Section 203) of the federal Voting Rights Act requires covered jurisdictions to provide language assistance so that limited English proficient Americans can effectively participate in the electoral process.
Section 203 mandates that a state or political subdivision provide language assistance to voters if more than 5%, or 10,000, of voting-age citizens are members of a single-language minority group and do not "speak or understand English adequately enough to participate in the electoral process," and if the rate of those citizens who have not completed the fifth grade is higher than the national rate.
As a result, 22 counties in eleven (11) states are now required to provide bilingual ballots, interpreters at poll sites, and other translated materials in Asian languages. AALDEF's multilingual fact sheets explain the law's requirements, its benefits, and how to report problems to ensure that all Asian Americans can fully exercise their right to vote.