BBT Leads Language Access Coalition to Implement Shoshoni Language Assistance in Nye County, Nevada
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 15, 2022
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BBT LEADS LANGUAGE ACCESS COALITION TO IMPLEMENT SHOSHONI LANGUAGE ASSISTANCE IN NYE COUNTY, NEVADA
Nye County is the first and only county nationwide required to provide Shoshoni language assistance
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Yesterday, Nye County, Nevada residents went to the polls for the first elections in which Shoshoni language assistance was required under Section 203 of the Voting Rights Act. Nye County is the only county in the country that is required to provide Shoshoni language assistance. In September 2021, Building Back Together launched the Language Justice Committee (LJC) to support election officials across the country as they implement new language assistance requirements, announced in December by the Census Bureau, in their counties.
The LJC has been working in Nevada to expand language accessibility ahead of the November elections, with a focus on in-language, in-person voting support, as the Shoshoni language has no written form. The LJC also offers support in designing and implementing an effective language assistance program, including by leveraging LJC partners’ expertise with on-site language interpretation, community engagement, poll worker recruitment and training, and online and in-person access.
“Along with our LJC partners, Building Back Together is proud to be leading nationally in this first-of-its-kind language assistance program,” said Building Back Together Voting Rights Director Rubén Lebrón. “Implementing a complete language access program will make Nye the only county in the country that provides Shoshoni language assistance to voters, and one of only 104 jurisdictions in the United States to provide assistance in American Indian and Alaskan Native languages. We look forward to continuing to work with partners through the LJC to ensure all Shoshoni language speakers have on-site interpretation provided by tribal elders and tribal voting locations on both early voting and Election Day. Come November, all Shoshoni language speakers should be able to cast a free and informed ballot.”