Runoff-election translators at a loss for words
By JENNIFER FERMINO, NY Post
Poll workers weren't the only ones with nothing to do at September's feeble Democratic runoff election.
The New York City Board of Elections hired more than a thousand Chinese and Korean interpreters at $200 a pop to work the polls -- but nearly a quarter of them reported seeing fewer than five people the entire day, according to records obtained by The Post.
More than a third helped just one person or none at all on the day of the runoff, in which just 8 percent of the city's registered Democrats turned out to choose a candidate for city comptroller and public advocate, according to the board's records.
"The Board of Elections should know which population speaks Chinese," groused one translator assigned to work at a polling site in TriBeCa.
"On the Election Day, I only helped two Chinese."
The Korean and Chinese translators were assigned to work at 366 polling sites in Brooklyn, Queens and Manhattan.
The location and number of interpreters was set under a ratio included in a 2008 settlement between the Board of Elections and the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund, which alleged widespread discrimination in a lawsuit.