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San Francisco Department Of Elections New Rule On Chinese Names Caused Outrage From Chinese American Candidates

ballot (Photo: pressdemocrat)

The new rule of the San Francisco Department of Elections that restricts non-Chinese candidates from using Chinese names caused outrage from numerous Chinese American candidates.

I Voted! sticker 9Photo; flickr)

Chinese American Candidates Outraged At New Ballot Rule By San Francisco Department Of Elections

SOURCE– A new rule by the San Francisco Department of Elections that is intended to restrict non-Chinese candidates from using Chinese names on ballots caused outrage from Chinese American candidates in San Francisco.

On Friday, the San Francisco Department of Elections released a list showing that 34 candidates will most likely face rejection for using self-submitted Chinese names on ballots. The affected candidates under the new rules implemented by the San Francisco Department of Elections include Chinese American candidates Laurance Lee, Jingchao Xiong, Philip Wing, Jamie Wong, and Jade Tu.

Several Days ago, the San Francisco Department of Elections fully adopted a state law that tightens the practice of using Chinese names on the ballots, which were bilingual in Chinese and English. Before the new rule implemented by the San Francisco Department of Elections, candidates could submit a two- or three-character Chinese name to appeal to Chinese-speaking voters. Now, candidates must prove that they were either born with the name or have been using it for two years. If not, then under the new rule by the San Francisco Department of Elections, they will be given a Mandarin translation-based name.

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Candidates Using Their Chinese Names In Ballots Are A Way To Appeal To Asian American Voters

The Mandarin translation-based name that will be used by the affected candidates is usually a long, wordy moniker with a separation dot between the first name and last name. In the memorandum, the San Francisco Department of Elections said that they understood the concerns regarding any potential abuses of names and transliteration.

According to NBC News, San Francisco follows its own election code, which specifies that candidates only need to demonstrate an established use of a name or a translation, but it did not define “established.” San Francisco will adhere to the state bill.

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