Voting materials might soon be available in Armenian, if the county
follows through on a motion made Tuesday by Los Angeles County
Supervisor Michael Antonovich to analyze the need and cost for such
Community groups have talked to Antonovich several times about the
need for voting materials in Armenian, spokeswoman Rita
“The motion comes from input by his staff, the community and media
reports. [Antonovich] feels it is the right thing to do,” she said.
Antonovich’s district includes Burbank, which has about 15,000
The county has already started to work on Antonovich’s request,
said Conny McCormack, registrar-recorder and county clerk.
Based on U.S. Census figures, the federal government decides every
10 years in which languages to print voting materials. Voting
materials are printed in Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Spanish, Tagalog
“We’ll have to study the whole county to determine if we’ll do the
translation [into Armenian],” McCormack said. “It’s very expensive to
translate voting materials.”
The county spends $3 million to $6 million to translate voting
materials into foreign languages during elections, McCormack said.
Most of the cost is incurred by printing and distribution.
Under federal laws, voting materials do not have to be translated
into Eastern European languages, which include Armenian, she said.
The county tries to hire poll workers who speak in a precinct’s
predominant language, however.
“This is an encouraging first step that the supervisor has taken,”
said Ardashes Kassakhian, director of government relations for the
Armenian National Committee’s Western Region in Glendale.
His committee has worked with Antonovich to have voting materials
translated, Kassakhian said.
The county will report back to the Board of Supervisors within 30
days with a recommendation on the motion.