Yakima County Auditor’s Office
128 N 2nd St Rm 117
PO Box 12570
Yakima, WA 98909-2570
Hours: 9:00am - 3:30pm
Toll Free: 800-833-0569
asistencia disponible en español
Yakima County's Bilingual Election Program
Based on a special tabulation done by the Director of the Census, it was determined in 2002 that Yakima County was a jurisdiction subject to the requirements of Section 203 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. It was determined that more than 5% of Yakima County's citizens of voting age belonged to a single language minority group (Spanish), who did not speak or understand English well enough to effectively participate in elections. This group also had a higher illiteracy rate than the national illiteracy rate. Because of this determination, the County created the Bilingual Program.
The primary purpose of the Bilingual Program is to assure compliance with the Spanish language mandate. Registration forms, voting instructions, voting materials, candidate information, ballots, legal notices, and assistance are made available to citizens in Spanish as well as English. Other important components of the Bilingual Program include active voter outreach to the Spanish-speaking community and bilingual Disability Access Site worker recruitment for elections held within Yakima County.
The Bilingual Program also tracks Yakima County Spanish surnamed voter statistics. The compiling of these statistics was made possible through a list of surnames supplied by the Department of Justice in the summer of 2004. The Department of Justice designated certain surnames as Spanish or Spanish heritage surnames. Based upon this list, the County Auditor’s office is able to determine the number of Spanish surnamed voters residing within Yakima County, and more appropriately place bilingual poll workers in areas where their assistance will be needed most.
The following graphs illustrate some of these statistics:
Voter Turnout by Surname: