Brooklyn- State Senator Martin J. Golden (R-C-I, Brooklyn) this week voted in support of legislation, S. 552, sponsored by Senator Carl Kruger, to provide voting materials printed in the Russian language as well as English.
The legislation would require that a board of elections in cities in New York State with a population of more than one million to provide the same information in Russian that it provides in languages other than English.
Senator Marty Golden stated, "It is a great day for democracy and for Russian-Americans who call New York home, for the State Senate has recognized the importance of the Russian speaking community within the boundaries of New York’s elections. Right here in Brooklyn, we have many Russian Americans who have become part of our democracy and vote in every election. But for many, their right to vote is denied because they could not read their ballot choices."
Senator Golden continued, "I urge the State Assembly to approve this legislation and Governor Paterson to sign it into law. This legislation will ensure that even more Russian-Americans will be on line at polling places across our City in future elections. Our democracy will benefit greatly from this outreach and hopefully civic participation will reach new heights"
At the present time, the New York City Board of Elections translate voting materials in Spanish, Chinese and Korean. Russian is the third most spoken foreign language in New York City following Spanish and Chinese.