Students Hired to Research Impact of Bilingual Ballots

December 5, 2013

Doug Jakyma '14 is among the BW students involved in a BW Community Research Institute (CRI) study into the effectiveness of Cuyahoga County's bilingual ballots. The Cuyahoga County Board of Elections hired CRI to investigate whether bilingual ballots have provided equal access to Spanish-speaking voters. The students kicked off their research by conducting exit surveys at 20 polling locations during the November election.

In an interview with WEWS-TV 5, Jakyma said, "Most of [the people we talked to] liked it the way it was or [preferred] keeping the languages together... rather than having separate ballots." The issue of the ballots came about in 2010, when the Federal Government threatened to sue the Board of Elections under the Civil Rights Act if bilingual ballots were not instituted. The BW CRI study, mentored by Political Science Professor Tom Sutton, is on track to be finished and presented in early 2014.