AB 1443, Chau. Voters: language accessibility.
Existing law establishes the Secretary of State as the chief elections officer of the state and requires that he or she ensure that elections are efficiently conducted and that state election laws are enforced. Existing law declares the intent of the Legislature that non-English-speaking citizens, like all other citizens, should be encouraged to vote and that appropriate efforts should be made to minimize obstacles to voting by citizens who lack sufficient skill in English to vote without assistance.
This bill would require the Secretary of State to establish a Language Accessibility Advisory Committee. The committee would consist of at least 15 members and would include the Secretary of State, his or her designees, and additional members appointed by the Secretary of State who have demonstrated language accessibility experience, have knowledge of methods for presenting election materials, or are county elections officials or their designee. The bill would require the Secretary of State to consult with and consider the recommendations of the committee.
The people of the State of California do enact as follows:
Chapter 8 (commencing with Section 2600) is added to Division 2 of the Elections Code, to read:
The Secretary of State shall establish a Language Accessibility Advisory Committee which shall meet no less than four times each calendar year. The committee shall consist of no less than fifteen members and be comprised of the Secretary of State and his or her designee or designees and additional members appointed by the Secretary of State. The appointees shall have demonstrated language accessibility experience, have knowledge of presenting election materials to voters using plain language methods or another method that is easy for voters to access and understand, or be a county elections official or his or her designee. At least three county elections officials shall be appointed to the committee. The Secretary of State shall consult with and consider the recommendations of the committee. The committee shall serve in an advisory capacity to the Secretary of State.