State of Elections

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Tag: California Election Code

Meeting California’s Language Access Needs: Decision in Appeals Case Against California Secretary of State

By: Elizabeth Harte

A California appeals court ruled on November 5, 2019, that California Secretary of State, Alex Padilla, improperly used the federal Voting Rights Act population requirement, instead of state law, to determine which language minorities required language services. His 2017 directive had restricted language assistance for “tens of thousands of California voters.” This ruling will bring language service access to those who speak languages like “Japanese, Hindi, Thai, Burmese, Urdu, Hmong and Punjabi” and will result in the recognition of eleven languages that California has not previously acknowledged. The ruling affects approximately 1,300 California precincts and grants “56,000 limited-English speaking California residents” assistance, like translated voting materials, that helps them participate in the democratic process.

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California Expands Same Day Voting Access

By: Maria Callahan

On October 8, 2019, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed Senate Bill No. 72, an act to amend Section 2170 of the Elections Code. This bill requires that county elections officials offer conditional voter registration and provisional voting at all satellite offices and all polling places in California. Under the prior existing law, an otherwise qualified elector was authorized to register to vote, complete a conditional voter registration, or cast a provisional ballot during either the 14 days preceding an election or on election day, as prescribed by each jurisdiction.

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