Voting rights for people who speak a language other than English

All voters in Pennsylvania have a legal right to receive help with the language when voting. 

A voter can bring any person to go with them into the polling place to interpret and into the voting booth to translate the ballot and instructions to the language of their choice or comfort. 

The helper cannot be the judge of elections or a representative of the voter’s employer or union.

Voters are allowed to have this kind of help even if it is not noted in the poll book.

For Spanish-speaking voters in Philadelphia, Berks, and Lehigh Counties
Federal law requires Philadelphia, Berks and Lehigh Counties to provide all voting materials in both English and Spanish. 

Voting access in these counties includes:

  • Providing interpreters in the polling place
  • Ensuring that all posted signs and notices in the polling place are in English and Spanish 
  • Translating the ballot and all instructions into Spanish, including
    • Paper ballots at the polls
    • Mail-in and absentee ballots
    • Provisional ballots
    • Audio assistance on voting machines
    • Voting systems screens and paper printouts 
  • All county website information must be translated into Spanish

For Chinese-speaking voters in Philadelphia County
Philadelphia also has to provide all of the items listed above in Chinese.

Need help? Call the Election Protection Hotline.