Bilingual services offered for voters

By Thomas Garcia: Freedom New Mexico

Bilingual services are available for voters in the March 4 Curry and Roosevelt county elections.

Spanish-language voters will have the aid of bilingual precinct workers and an translating device at each of the precincts.

Called AutoMARK, the device has an audible and visual translation of the ballot for voters, according to Curry County’s Chief Deputy County Clerk Coni Jo Lyman.

The AutoMARK devices have been in use since August 2006.

“For the past 23 years we have always tried to have a translator at each precinct during the elections,” Lyman said.

“We make it a policy to have a bilingual precinct worker in each precinct, said Roosevelt County Clerk Janet Collins.

The precinct workers in Roosevelt County are paid through the counties general fund, Collins said.

Many of the precinct workers in Curry County are judges and clerks from the precinct, according to Curry County Clerk Mario Trujillo.

When a translator is not available at the sites, the voter can call the county offices and speak with a translator, county officials said.

There is also a translator available when people come in and register to vote, county officials said.

Trujillo said there has been an increase in the number of people that need a translator when they register to vote.

What: Municipal elections
When: March 4
Voter registration deadline: Feb. 5
Early and absentee voting: Feb. 5-Feb. 28
Election: March 4