Advocates and lawmakers make push for state-level voters’ rights act

Building on protections established in the landmark 1965 Voting Rights Act, advocates said the bill — which lawmakers plan to file in the current legislative session — would require municipalities to provide language-related assistance to voters if their population comprises a certain percentage of people who speak English “less than very well.” It would also prohibit acts of intimidation that might prevent a voter from casting a ballot and create a program to require localities with a record of discrimination to gain the state’s approval before changing election-related policies.