CCBE honors bilingual poll workers
Cleveland, August 14, 2014: Approximately 150 individuals were part of a special ceremony that is being conducted by the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections and leaders of the Latino community. The Board recognizes the important contributions that are made by bilingual poll workers who assist voters on Election Day. The August 14th special reception honored all bilingual poll workers with an awards ceremony, refreshments, and entertainment.
Cuyahoga County Board of Elections Director Pat McDonald opened the ceremony. “We want everyone to know that it takes a special type of person to do this work and we want to show our appreciation for assisting Spanish speaking voters. We also want to thank the Young Latino Network, Julia De Burgos Cultural Arts Center, and members of SABE (Spanish Advisory Board for Electorate) who have given their time and donations to make this ceremony possible,” said Director McDonald.
The keynote speaker was community leader Gerardo Colón, a champion of Latino Voter engagement, who has been serving the Cleveland community for over 30 years. Mr. Colón spent many of those years registering Latino voters and engaging the community through the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections and the U.S. Census Bureau.
Entertainment was provided by Bamba Y Plena. Bomba is a musical expression created in Puerto Rico at the end of the 17th century, by West Africans and their descendants who worked the colonial sugar plantations along the coast of Puerto Rico. It was at “Bailes de Bombas” (Bomba Dances) where baptisms and marriages were celebrated.
Since 2010, the Board of Elections has provided bilingual services. Bilingual poll workers are fluent in Spanish and English. They are also required to complete additional training before being hired to assist voters in areas where there are large numbers of Spanish speaking residents.
For every countywide election at least 200 bilingual poll workers are required to serve 70 precincts in 30 locations where there are large numbers of Latino voters.