Chinese voters get language assistance

October 12, 2004
Press Release

November will mark the first presidential election when the Cook County Clerk’s office will provide targeted language assistance to Chinese-speaking voters, Clerk David Orr announced.

Chinese-speaking voters in 13 precincts will be aided by bilingual signage, Chinese ballot books and bilingual voting instructions. The Clerk’s office is also seeking election judges who speak English and Chinese to help ensure that voting goes smoothly for voters in areas with large Chinese-speaking populations.

Cook County cross-referenced its voter registration files with precinct-level Census data to identify large numbers of Chinese voters in Maine, New Trier, Niles, Northfield, Palatine and Schaumburg townships.

“We typically see people turning out in larger numbers for presidential elections, and we hope to see those same increases in Chinese-speaking voters who know they can easily get the information they need to cast their ballots,” Orr said.

The Clerk’s office began targeting Chinese-speaking voters in 2002, when the U.S. Department of Justice directed election authorities across the country to use updated Census data to provide language assistance in areas where large portions of the population may have difficulty understanding English.

The federal Voting Rights Act requires Cook County to provide assistance in each language for which more than 5 percent of the voting-age population – or more than 10,000 people – does not speak sufficient English to vote. Spanish- and Chinese-speaking voters fall within the guidelines in areas of suburban Cook County

In addition to Election Day materials, the Clerk’s office has printed bilingual voter information pamphlets, voter registration forms, absentee ballot applications, how-to-vote instructions and has established language-assistance hotlines and placed bilingual judges in Chinese-speaking precincts.

Bilingual individuals who speak Chinese and English and want to help provide language assistance in suburban Cook County by serving as an election judge can submit an application online at, or call (312) 603-0965.

A list of suburban polling places designated as Chinese precincts is below.

Suburban Cook County Chinese-assistance Precincts November 2004

Township Pct Location  Address

Maine  111     Northwest Suburban        7800 W. Lyons St., 
                        Jewish Congregation        Morton Grove

New Trier  70 Loyola Academy  1100 N. Laramie Ave.,

Niles  14     Culver School  6901 Oakton St., Niles
            24 Oakton Park Rec         4701 Oakton St.,Skokie
            45 Holy Trinity Church     8201 N. Karlov Ave., 
            72 Mansfield Park          5830 Church St.,
                       Fieldhouse              Morton Grove
           88 Lakeside Church         3939 W. Howard St.,
           95 Old Orchard             9310 N. Kenton Ave.,
                 Junior High                            Skokie

Northfield 71 Devon Bank  950 E. Milwaukee Ave.,
                   84 Devon Bank  950 E. Milwaukee Ave.,

Palatine 63 Fire Station  1300 Westbury Drive, 
                                                Hoffman Estates
               75 Fire Station  1300 Westbury Drive, 
                                                Hoffman Estates

Schaumburg 64 Lincoln Prairie         500 Hillcrest Blvd., 
                                      School                   Hoffman Estates