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Session Law

2010

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Chapter 201 AN ACT RELATIVE TO THE PREPARATION OF CERTAIN BILINGUAL BALLOTS IN THE CITY OF BOSTON.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same as follows:

SECTION 1. As used in this act, the following words shall have the following meanings unless the context requires otherwise:-

“Board”, the board of election commissioners of the city of Boston.

“Chinese surname”, a surname which appears on the Lauderdale and Kestenbaum list of Chinese surnames.

“City”, the city of Boston.

“Election”, the choice by the voters of any public officer and to the taking of a vote upon any question by law submitted to the voters.

“Transliteration”, the printing of relevant Chinese characters to represent the phonetic equivalent of the syllables of an English name or a name in a language that is not traditionally written using Chinese characters.

“State election”, an election at which a national, state or county officer or a regional district school committee member elected districtwide is to be chosen by the voters, whether for a full term or for the filling of a vacancy.

“Vietnamese surname”, a surname which appears on the Lauderdale and Kestenbaum list of Vietnamese surnames.

SECTION 2. Notwithstanding section 40 of chapter 54 of the General Laws or any other general or special law to the contrary, in federal and state elections, the state secretary shall prepare bilingual ballots in English and Chinese and in English and Vietnamese in addition to any other bilingual ballots required by law in the designated polling places within the city as required by section 4.

SECTION 3. Notwithstanding section 58 of the charter of the city or any other general or special law to the contrary, in all city preliminary or final elections the board shall prepare bilingual ballots in English and Chinese and in English and Vietnamese in addition to any other bilingual ballots required by law in the designated polling places within the city as required by section 4.

SECTION 4. Bilingual ballots in English and Chinese shall be provided in each polling place in the city where there are at least 35 registered voters with Chinese surnames. Bilingual ballots in English and Vietnamese shall be provided in each polling place in the city where there are at least 30 registered voters with Vietnamese surnames.

At least 1 bilingual ballot in English and Chinese per registered voter with a Chinese surname shall be provided in each designated polling place. At least 1 bilingual ballot in English and Vietnamese per registered voter with a Vietnamese surname shall be provided in each designated polling place. In any district, county, state or federal primary or general election the state secretary may provide additional sets of bilingual ballots for any polling place in the city if the secretary deems it necessary. In any city preliminary or final elections, the board may provide additional sets of bilingual ballots for any polling place in the city if the board deems it necessary.

SECTION 5. The board in any city preliminary or final elections and the state secretary in any federal or state election shall provide for the transliteration of all candidates’ names for bilingual ballots in English and Chinese. Each candidate shall be provided with a written copy of the proposed transliteration of that candidate's name. Within 7 days after receiving the proposed transliteration of the candidate's name, the candidate may provide written notice to the board or the state secretary, as the case may be, of any modification of the proposed transliteration of a candidate's own name or decline to have the candidate's own name transliterated on the ballot. The transliteration shall be subject to final approval by the board or the state secretary, as the case may be. The board or state secretary shall provide public notice of transliterated names as soon as practicable.

SECTION 6. The city shall record the number of bilingual ballots in English and Chinese and in English and Vietnamese that are printed, requested or used in all elections held in the city.

SECTION 7. This act shall take effect on January 1, 2011.

SECTION 8. This act shall expire on December 31, 2013.

SECTION 9. Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, any costs resulting from implementation of this act shall be borne by the city of Boston. The state secretary shall enter into an agreement with the city of Boston regarding such costs before such implementation.

Approved July 31, 2010


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