Spanish Campaign Glossary

A list of political/voting terms to use in Spanish

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Spanish Campaign Glossary

A list of political/voting terms to use in Spanish

politics, languages, Spanish

���NOTE: This list is not exhaustive and there may be instances where you’ll have to change the conjugation or rework the order of words for longer phrases.

Hey y’all! I put this together to serve as a resource for folks doing outreach in Spanish. It’s from my work leading Spanish Content for the Elizabeth Warren for President campaign and the Mark Kelly for Senate campaign. Spanish is spoken so differently everywhere, that there may be words here you disagree with, and that’s okay. It’s a starting point for folks who want to find a way to explain concepts to individuals that feel more comfortable learning about campaigns/politics in Spanish.

NOTE: Please, do not use this as a substitute to hiring proficient Spanish-speakers and paying them what they’re worth for this skillset!

* Gabriela Cid

General Grammar Rules


Unlike English, Spanish does not capitalize:

● days of the week

● months

● languages

● nationalities

● religions

● composition titles (only the first word and proper nouns)

● introductory titles (e.g. señora Wilson) - except when abbreviated (e.g. Sr. for señor, Dr. for doctor and Srta. for señorita)


In Spanish you write the day + month + year. This is different from the way we are used to writing dates in English (month + day + year). January 21, 2021 would be written 21 de enero del 2021 or 21 de enero de 2021.

Spanish Campaign Glossary


Canvass: Visitar a votantes en sus hogares o visitar a votantes

* If you want to be literal and say tocar puertas, that’s fine too, but I like the idea of telling people that they’re visiting voters since the hope is to engage in meaningful convos

Canvass kickoff: Evento para visitar a votantes

Follow us on social media ​- Síguenos en las redes sociales

GOTV - ​Movilizar a los votantes

* I’ve seen many use sacar el voto but that just sounds like such a literate translation, definitely prefer movilizar or even alentar a los votantes

Grassroots​ - Base comunitaria (i.e. “grassroots campaign” can be translated as “campaña de base comunitaria”)

Let’s connect​ - Contáctanos

Latest news: Últimas noticias

Organizing team​ - Equipo de organizadores

Phone bank (verb): Haz llamadas a votantes

Phone banking event: Evento para hacer llamadas a votantes

Sign up​ - Añade tu nombre (add your name) or Inscríbete (register)

Text XYZ to 00000: Envía XYZ al 00000

Text banking: Enviar mensajes de texto

Updates: Actualizaciones

Up and down the ballot: Cada nivel del gobierno


American - Estadounidense

* Note: My dad told me early on the Americas extended far beyond the United States which to me has always meant, DON’T use America or americanos. The Americas extend beyond the United States, especially for folks from Latin America.

Choice (as in reproductive rights): Derecho de decidir sobre su(s) propio(s) cuerpo(s)

Corporate influence: Influencia de las corporaciones

Corporate PAC: Comité de acción política corporativo

Donation (financial): Contribución

Drug companies: Compañías farmacéuticas

Ending Washington Corruption​ - Ponerle fin a la corrupción en Washington

Enforcement (as in “enforcing the law”): Aplicación de la(s) ley(es)

Entrepreneur: Empresario

Environment: Medio ambiente

Environmental justice - ​Justicia ambiental

Family & Medical Leave Act (FMLA) - ​La Ley de Ausencia Familiar y Médica (​language used by DOL​)

Filibuster​ - Stays in English, with italics: ​filibuster

Green New Deal​ - “Green New Deal”

Green​ (e.g. Green jobs) - Sostenible

HBCUs​ - ​Universidades Históricamente Afroamericanas (HBCUs por sus siglas en inglés)

Guns: Armas de fuego

Gun Violence: Violencia armada

Health care: For this word, there are multiple variations depending on what specifically we are discussing in regards to health care.

● Sistema de cuidado de salud - when speaking about general health care system

● Cobertura médica - when speaking about coverage

● Atención médica - when speaking about literal care

Law enforcement: Cuerpos policiacos

Level the playing field ​- crear oportunidades equitativas

Loopholes​ - Vacíos legales

Medicare for All ​- Medicare para todos; though I would also consider leaving as “Medicare for All” if we’re speaking about the legislative proposal specifically

Migrants - Migrantes

MSIs​ - ​Instituciones Dirigidas a Minorías (MSIs por sus siglas en inglés)

Pre-existing condition: Condición preexistente

Prescription drugs: Medicamentos/medicamentos recetados

Racial wealth gap - ​Brecha económica racial

Ragged edge of the middle class ​- Al borde de la clase media

Rebuilding the middle class - Reconstruir la clase media​

Retired: Jubilado/a

Retirement: Jubilación

Running for office: Postularse como candidato, etc

* I’m running for office because… Me postulé como candidato porque...

Runoff: Segunda vuelta

Seniors: Personas de la tercera edad

Small business: Pequeño negocio

Small business owner: Dueño de pequeño negocio

Student loan debt​ - Deuda por préstamos estudiantiles

Surprise billing: Facturas sorpresa

Unions: Sindicatos

Voucher program: Programa de vales

Welcoming​ - Hospitalario (in reference to immigration policy)


Ballot: Boleta/Boleta electoral

Check your voter registration: Confirma tu registro de votante

Drop off ballot at...: Devolver tu boleta a...

Drop box (voting): Buzón electoral

Early ballot: Boleta electoral temprana

Early voting: Votación temprana

Mail-in ballot: Boleta electoral por correo / boleta por correo

Pen: Pluma

* People say this word in LOTS of different ways we recently found out, but if you’re speaking to a general audience that’s very diverse, this seemed to have been the one more known generally

Polling location: Lugar de votación

Polls (i.e., polls are open): Urnas (i.e., Las urnas están abiertas.)

Register to vote: Inscríbete para votar

* Regístrate para votar seems to have evolved into being acceptable, though not my preference

Return ballot by mail: Devolver tu boleta por correo postal

Update your voter registration: Actualiza tu registro de votante

Vote by mail (noun): Votación por correo

Vote by mail (verb): Votar por correo

Spanish Campaign Glossary
Tags Politics, Languages, Spanish
Type Google Doc
Published 03/10/2021, 23:09:46


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