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May 19, 2024 Mist | 55°F
The 193rd General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

AN ACT RELATIVE TO THE PREPARATION OF CERTAIN BILINGUAL BALLOTS IN THE CITY OF MALDEN

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, unless the context clearly requires otherwise, have the following meanings:

“Board”, the board of registrar of voters in the city of Malden.

“City”, the city of Malden.

“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 in the city of Malden. 

“Transliteration”, translation into the 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.

SECTION 2.  Notwithstanding section 40 of chapter 54 of the General Laws or any other general or special law to the contrary, for any federal or state primary and election, the state secretary shall prepare and deliver bilingual ballots in English and Chinese in addition to any other bilingual ballots required by law to the City.

SECTION 3.  Notwithstanding the charter of the city or any general or special law to the contrary, for any city preliminary or final election, the board shall prepare bilingual ballots in English and Chinese in addition to any other bilingual ballots required by law to be provided in the designated polling places within the city.

SECTION 4.  (a) Ballots prepared in accordance with sections 2 and 3 of this act shall include transliteration of the candidates’ names. For each city preliminary or final election, the board shall provide for the transliteration of all candidates’ names for bilingual ballots in English and Chinese. For each federal or state primary and election, the board shall provide the transliteration of the candidates’ names for district and county offices to the state secretary for inclusion on ballots prepared under section 2. Each candidate shall be provided with a written copy of the proposed transliteration of that candidate’s name.

(b)  Not later than 7 days after receiving the proposed transliteration of the candidate’s name, the candidate may provide written notice to the board 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.

(c)  The transliteration shall be subject to final approval by the board or the state secretary, as the case may be. The board or the state secretary, as the case may be, shall provide public notice of transliterated names as soon as practicable.

SECTION 5.  Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, the city, for any primary or election, shall be responsible for the cost of transliteration and the state secretary shall be responsible only for the production of ballots for federal or state primaries and elections as required by law.

SECTION 6.  This act shall take effect on January 1, 2023.

Approved, November 30, 2022.