Running Elections in a Non-English Language

Voter-facing components of ElectionBuddy (i.e. notices and the ballot) can be customized to allow for other languages to be presented to voters. Setup pages, which exclusively face the election administrator, and the results pages currently are only displayed in English.

Notices

The following also applies to any reminder templates that you edit while your election is live.

Multi-Lingual Notices (Partial Notice Translations)

The default notice template includes space for additional text to be added:

This space allows you to add any alternative languages that you need to provide to your voters.

If you would like to change the entirety of the notice, and also provide an alternative language, you can use Advanced Notice Customization.

Fully Non-English Notices (Full Notice Translations)

Please note that the Advanced Notice Customization tags must be set up in English. If you would like your organization name and election name to appear in the language that you want to use in your notices, please ensure that your organization name and election name are entered into the "Details" page of your election in the language that you want to use.

If your voter population does not speak English whatsoever, Advanced Notice Customization can also be used to send out a notice that is entirely in a non-English language:

The Ballot

Multi-Lingual Ballots (Partial Ballot Translations)

You can include multiple languages, or a different language, by customizing the text in the following areas of your election setup:

  • On the ballot questions: any place that you can input text can include text using a different language, including candidate profiles. Unless the language you are using is one of the ones that we have a full ballot translation for, then by default, the non-customizable text will appear in English; you are welcome to include a translated version of that default text in a second language in one of the customizable text fields:

  • With "Advanced Ballot Customization" turned on, you can also change the languages on the "Verify your selection" button, the text for the verification instructions, the "Edit Ballot" button, the "Submit ballot" button, the confirmation title text, and the confirmation body text:

Fully Non-English Ballots (Full Ballot Translations)

Electionbuddy currently offers three languages for full ballot translation (when used in addition to your own text in these languages):

  1. English (default)
  2. Portuguese
  3. French

On the "Details" page of your election setup, you will have the option of setting the default language for the ballot:

If you choose a language other than English, you will see the ballot instructions and ballot buttons (you can view these with Advanced Ballot Customization turned on) have changed languages based on your choice:

Please note that ElectionBuddy cannot translate customized text. If you choose to customize any of the text available when you use Advanced Ballot Customization, the text that you insert is not translated automatically for you. For example, if you would like to change the text of the Verify Button (shown in the image above) to something other than the default French text, you must enter the text in French to have it show up in French on the ballot.

Voters will have the opportunity to change the language while voting if their preferred language is not the default that you've chosen for the majority of your voters:

This language setting will change the language for all of the non-customizable text on the ballot (for example, the "Abstain" option). 

As noted above, if you have customized any of the buttons/help text via Advanced Ballot Customization, the voters will not be able to change the language of that text (as ElectionBuddy cannot predict what you have put there in order to translate it). It will stay in the language that you've used during customization.

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