Translations of NVRA Form - Technical Study Commissioned by EAC
The study aims to answer key questions concerning the usability and processing of the NVRA form in Asian languages by reviewing this with election officials, EAC personnel, cultural contacts, bilingual graphic designers and U.S Citizens that speak Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Vietnamese or Tagalog with limited or no English proficiency.
The results indicate that there are concrete issues that surround the use of the NVRA form in Asian languages both from an end-user’s perspective and from a processing point of view (i.e. the election official).
The main issue is how to process the NVRA form if it is completed in a non-Latin script, such as Chinese, Japanese, Korean or Vietnamese. Tagalog uses the Latin alphabet and is therefore not an issue. The information in the form could therefore not be read by an election official assuming they do not speak Chinese, Japanese, Korean or Vietnamese. Although this is not an issue in the larger voting centers where there are bilingual staff members on-hand, it is assumed that the majority of voting centers in the U.S are not fully staffed in the four Asian languages regarding this issue.
In addition to the problem with verification of information written in non-Latin characters, another issue is the NVRA form-design and layout. Depending on the design and layout, it could be difficult for a non-English proficient U.S. citizen to complete the form, when font type, font size and spacing are not thoroughly considered. The consequence of space limitations on the form is that there is less room to be able to add text that is required in order to fully adapt to the cultural needs of each specific language.
Furthermore, it became clear that although the issues mentioned are very real in the field, the incidence of such cases is infrequent and as such, any solution needs to be cost-effective and simple.
Upon analysis of the various issues and assessing the various solution possibilities the objective was to keep any solution simple yet accessible and effective.