By Madhu Krishnamurthy
Cook County voters will be able to access election ballots in 12 languages in November, including Arabic, Gujarati, Polish, Russian, Ukrainian, and Urdu.
That's in addition to Korean and Tagalog, which were included in March, and English, Spanish, Chinese, and Hindi making Cook County among the top jurisdictions nationwide for ballot language access.
The Cook County Board of Commissioners adopted the Voting Opportunity and Translation Equity ordinance in October 2019 mandating fully translated ballots and voting materials to be made available for suburban Cook County residents with limited English proficiency.
During a recent public hearing, commissioners reviewed what is being done to mitigate pandemic-related voting challenges disproportionately affecting Black communities, including the accessibility of polling places.
"Now, more than ever, it is critical that we all pay close attention to our elections -- not just the results, but how they are run, secured, and made accessible to every corner of our communities," said Cook County Commissioner Scott Britton of Glenview, who represents the 14th District.
To download mail ballot applications in these languages, visit the clerk's website at cookcountyclerk.com/agency/vote-mail.