SECTION 1. Chapter 54 of the General Laws is hereby amended by adding at the end of section 86 the following:-
A voter in any city or town within the Commonwealth that requires bilingual ballots shall be entitled to apply for and receive papers, explanatory matter, and instructions in bilingual form as provided in section 87. For all translated ballots in languages that do not use the Roman alphabet, including but not limited to Chinese and Khmer, the state secretary shall provide for the transliteration of all candidates’ names as part of the bilingual ballot in consultation with language-minority community groups and media. Transliteration means the representation of a candidate's name with non-alphabetic characters, in a language that does not use the Roman alphabet, according to the same standards used to transliterate city, county or state names on the bilingual ballot: 1) Standard representations of common names shall be used as can be found in dictionaries; 2) Less common names shall be represented by characters that approximate the phonetics of a name in consultation with language-minority civic organizations or the media.
All candidates shall be provided with a written copy of the proposed transliteration of such candidate’s name. Within seven days of receiving the proposed transliterations of such candidate’s name, that candidate may provide written notice to the state secretary of a modification of the proposed transliteration of candidate’s own name or decline to have candidate’s own name transliterated on the ballot. If a candidate does not respond, the state secretary shall proceed to use the transliterated name assigned. The state secretary shall have final approval of the transliteration and provide public notice of official transliterated names as soon as practicable to relevant civic organizations and ethnic media to ensure consistency.
SECTION 2. Chapter 54 of the General Laws is hereby amended by adding at the end of section 87 the following:-
Upon application by a voter who resides in any city or town within the Commonwealth that requires bilingual ballots, the state secretary shall prepare and furnish all papers, explanatory matter, and instruction required by this section in bilingual form. Transliteration of all candidates’ names shall be completed as provided for in section 86.
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