Sac Co. voter postcard with Chinese translation cost $150K | News
SACRAMENTO, CA - Because of new census numbers, Sacramento County is required to offer voter information in Chinese, in addition to English and Spanish.
Registered voters in Sacramento County started receiving voter postcards in the mail this week. The postcard cost taxpayers $150,000.
The postcard asks three questions:
- Voters can choose to receive their voting materials in English, Spanish or Chinese.
- It lets voters know they can read their sample ballot online and opt out of receiving the paper version if they check the box and return the postcard.
- It allows voters to chose to vote by mail.
If voters prefer to receive materials in Spanish or Chinese or want to change their voting method, they should return the postcard. The Sacramento County Registrar of Voter's office said if you want to keep your materials in English, don't worry about sending the postcard back.
Many people want to know why the postcard cost $150,000.
"So this postcard, the printing, staff time to design it, the translation, and the mailing is about $150,000," said Alice Jarboe with the Sacramento County Registrar of Voters. "That sounds like a lot, but it goes out to more than 680 thousand people."
Jarboe said Sacramento County is footing the bill because it is a federal requirement. She said the Registrar of Voter's office was efficient in it's efforts--combining three tasks into one postcard.
"That's pretty expensive," Diana said about the $150,000 postcard campaign. "I think there are maybe better ways to do it."
"It's going to cost too much for the economy," Eric Saephan said. "And the economy is too bad the way it is right now. We can use that money to do something else."
Others said the cost may seem like a lot, but increasing voter turnout is important.
"I think it's a great idea," Sheriska Rogers said. "You'll get more to actually go out and vote."
The Sacramento County Registrar of Voter's office said adding Chinese to the sample ballot and election ballot won't cost as much as sending out the voter postcards. They budgeted an extra $50,000 for it.
New census numbers reflect a growing Chinese community in other areas of California. San Diego, Los Angeles, and Alameda counties have also added Chinese to their voting materials. San Francisco already has Chinese translation on their ballot.
By Suzanne Phan, email@example.com
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