Breaking Barriers to the Ballot Box: Expanding Language Access for California Voters

Our democracy is under real and urgent threat, from rampant disinformation and a surge in voter suppression legislation to politicians deliberately showing distrust in election outcomes in order to maintain their own power. While the state of California and counties in California have adopted various pro-democracy voting practices and procedures, reforms such as vote-by-mail ballots and ballot drop boxes are only beneficial if voters receive election materials in a language they understand.

This report explores four key aspects of language access in California elections: the voting experience, federal and state laws, the importance of in-language materials, and data limitations for identifying populations in California who use non-English languages.

The report, the first of its kind, provides a roadmap to ensure that all voters, regardless of their English language proficiency, can vote fairly and equally.

Authored by:

Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Asian Law Caucus

Asian Americans Advancing Justice Southern California

AAPIs for Civic Empowerment Education Fund

ACLU of Northern California

ACLU of Southern California

Chinese for Affirmative Action

Council on American-Islamic Relations

California Common Cause

Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights

Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund

National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials Educational Fund

Partnership for the Advancement of New Americans

See More: Voting & Elections