Kvelling: You Can Now Register to Vote in Yiddish in New York

NYC election board forms available starting Monday: 'There are thousands of Yiddish speakers in New York State,' says Assemblyman Dov Hikind.

The U.S. voter registration drive by iVote Israel in Tel Aviv's Sarona Market, August 9, 2016. A young woman wearing an oversized stars-and-stripes hat explains something to a woman holding registration forms, a passport and a U.S. Social Security card. A booth with a banner reading, "American citizens, register to vote here" is in the background.
David Bachar

The New York City Board of Elections has made voting registration forms available in Yiddish.

The forms were available starting Monday, according to a statement by state Assemblyman Dov Hikind, a Brooklyn Democrat.

Hikind, who is Jewish, said he requested in December that the Board of Elections provide the forms in Yiddish.

“There are thousands of Yiddish speakers in my district and New York State,” Hikind said in the statement. “Everyone deserves the right to have their voice heard and be able to vote. Now Yiddish-speaking constituents can now register with ease.”

The Board of Elections is required to provide the document, which city residents must fill out in order to vote, in English, Bengali, Mandarin, Korean and Spanish, according to its website. It also provides forms in 11 additional languages, now including Yiddish.

In July, the city made voter registration forms available in five new languages in order to expand access to voting.