Early voting begins, mail-in ballots sent, precinct workers needed for June 5 primary election

Serious need for people who are bilingual in Hmong, Punjabi and Chinese

Fresno, Calif. - The Fresno County Clerk and Registrar of Voters office is looking for roughly 2,000 people to work the polls during the June 5 primary election.

Precinct workers get paid $150.00 for the day.

Brandi Orth, Fresno County Clerk, says they have a special need for people who are bilingual in seven specific languages.

"California law prescribes that we reach out to all of our voters even if they have a non-English preference," says Orth. "So we will have facsimile translated ballots in Chinese, Khmer, Punjabi, Hmong, Vietnamese, Tagalog, and Korean."

People interested in becoming a precinct worker must take a two-hour class to get ready for election day.

Sao Yang is excited that for the first time ballots will be available in Hmong.

"My parents are citizens, and they can vote but they choose not to because they say 'well I can't vote because I don't understand what is being said on there,' so this means a lot to me and my family," says Yang.

More than 200,000 mail-in ballots were sent out Monday morning to the estimated 439,000 registered voters who have chosen that option.

Early voting began Monday as well: voters can go to the downtown office between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. If they want to beat the June 5 crowd.

Even though early voting and mail ballot options are available, Orth says thousands of people still choose to vote at a polling location on election day.

That's why she needs the help of anyone who wants to be a precinct worker: especially from people who are bi-lingual.

"To be a precinct officer you have to be a registered voter, you have to be able to read and write English, and also be bilingual in this 'other' language" says Orth in regards to people wanting to be a bilingual precinct worker.

This year there are 145 unique precincts.

For the first time, 88 of them will have someone present who speaks Hmong.

Yang is happy to be one of them.

"It's a strong community here, but a lot don't go out and vote because a lot of the older voters don't really speak English. So it's nice to have a translator out there," says Yang.

If you would like to have an up close and personal experience of the democratic process while earning $150.00, you can call 559-600-1620 to sign up.

Click here if you would like to sign up to receive a mail-in ballot

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