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Translation Error at Election for the Second Time in Arizona

Maricopa County in Arizona has distributed Spanish language materials with the wrong general election date for the second time, due to an initial translation error. The first time, translation error was printed on voting information pamphlets, but the second time they were printed on bookmarks. On the Spanish translation documents that have been distributed, the election date is wrongly printed as being the 8th of November instead of the 6th of November.

Translation Errors Put the Spotlight on Arizona

The county elections department spokesperson, Yvonne Reed, says that the mistake was probably made because the last election was on November 8th, and the bookmarks with the misprinted general election date were created using a template from the previous election. Reed says that this is the best explanation for why the translation error was made. However, the bookmarks were supposedly proofread, but only one of the bookmarks on each page was printed with the correct date. Three bookmarks were printed on a single page, and two of the bookmarks on each page still retained the incorrect date. The difference between the mistakes made two weeks ago in the same county is that less than 50 people were reported to have received the materials with the wrong date, whereas over 2,000 of the bookmarks were distributed this week. The negligence of the official Spanish translation of election materials in Maricopa County has been met with anger and accusation.

The main accusation against the county office has been that they are purposely trying to turn Hispanic voters away. The first instance angered people, but the second has some people and groups condemning the county for apartheid behavior. Rachel Maddow has even spoken out calling the misprint action a “dark political art.” Even though Arizona has recently gone through immigration issues, the county is denying that the misprint is anything more than an honest – and regrettable – mistake that the county will strive to not repeat in the future.  Their English to Spanish translation materials will be proofread with more accuracy for any further election materials that will be available to the public.

County Recorder Responds in a Press Advisory

The county recorder, Helen Purcell, spoke out in a press advisory reaffirming that the translation error was nothing more than an unfortunate and lamentable proofreading error. She says that the office has dedicated decades to expanding voter participation and the rumors spread are nothing more than malicious lies. The Spanish translation services used by the office are not responsible for the mistake; the misprint was just an editing error that has since been corrected. 






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