Voter rgst forms in Gujarati introduced in New Jersey

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New York, Jan 30: Probably for the first time in a US State, voter registration forms will be made available in Gujarati and other Indian languages.

New Jersey, home to one of the largest Indian population in the US-- most of them Gujaratis, will provide election material in Indian languages to ensure increased participation by Indians and other South Asians in the February 5 presidential primaries. American Indians in New Jersey have registered themselves for the February 5 elections, with some of them doing it in Gujarati.

According to official figures, at least 250,000 people of Indian origin live in New Jersey. In Middlesex County of that state alone, there are 57,000 Indians most of whom speak Gujarati.

Though the deadline for registering for the primary elections of both parties has already passed, community organisations have urged members who have become US citizens to register themselves for the general elections slated for early November.

There are currently an estimated three million Indians in the US.

According to a survey conducted by the Asian American Legal Defence and Education Fund, about half of Bangladeshis, a third of Pakistanis and about a quarter of Indians in the US, have limited English proficiency. A third of Urdu speakers and an equal number of Bengalis sought the assistance of interpreters and translators in order to cast their ballots. About 17 per cent of Indians also needed language assistance, the survey results showed.


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