Standards > Language access

Language access

Communications is about educating voters and building public trust in elections. While the ways to reach voters have grown, communication remains central to helping voters navigate the election process. From special media requests to everyday interactions that answer voters’ questions, all election offices play an important role in this work. This is one of six standards that define excellence in communications. This draft standard will be updated based on feedback from the election community.


Your election office understands your voters’ language needs and prioritizes their preferred languages, dialects, and communication modes. To achieve this standard:

  • You use trusted data, information, and community relationships to identify your voters’ language access needs.
  • You develop a plan that includes procedures for translation, interpretation, usability testing, and language resources.
  • Your website, voter education materials, and media outreach are easily available in formats that meet your voters’ language needs.

Why this standard matters

It is important that we are explicit about the underlying why for each standard. While not attached to measurements, the intended impact of an election department achieving this standard is that:

  • Election departments will have meaningful relationships with communities who communicate in ways other than written and spoken English.
  • Voters will have the information they need to cast their ballots and have their votes counted.

Let us know what you think!