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Pursuant to specifications in the Voting Rights Act as amended in July 2006, the U.S. Census Bureau released today a list of 248 jurisdictions across the nation that must provide language assistance during elections for groups who are unable to speak or understand English adequately enough to participate in the electoral process.
The list, which will be published in the Federal Register tomorrow, identifies which jurisdictions are covered by Section 203 of the Voting Rights Act and must provide language assistance for Hispanic, American Indian and Alaska Native, and Asian language groups. The Census Bureau has made these determinations following each decennial census since Section 203 was enacted in 1975. In 2006, Congress specified that the Census Bureau shall use statistics from the American Community Survey to make the determinations following the 2010 Census.
The 248 covered jurisdictions are 3.1 percent of the 2,920 counties and 4,972 minor civil divisions that comprise the political subdivisions in the United States. There are 79,245,487 voting-age eligible citizens in the covered jurisdictions, or 33.8 percent of the total U.S. voting-age population. The determinations found a total national population of 19,209,431 voting-age citizens from the language minority groups that reside in the 248 covered jurisdictions, compared with 13,463,635 and 296 jurisdictions in 2002, an increase of 42.7 percent. The determinations found a total of 14,794,716 Hispanics, 4,030,110 Asians and 384,605 American Indian/Alaskan Natives voting-age citizens in the covered jurisdictions.
Consistent with the reauthorization of the Voting Rights Act in 2006, the determinations were processed using data from the 2005-2009 American Community Survey estimates. Census Bureau statisticians also used modeling techniques based on the 2010 Census population counts to improve the accuracy of the results.
A complete listing of which jurisdictions are covered, and for which language minority groups, can be found on the Federal Register Notice Public Inspection site: <http://www.ofr.gov/OFRUpload/OFRData/2011-26293_PI.pdf >. The Federal Register Notice will be available tomorrow, Oct. 13. For more information, please visit: http://www.census.gov/rdo/data/voting_rights_determination_file.html.
Source: U.S Census Bureau Release. Oct 12, 2011.