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HB20-1081

Multilingual Ballot Access

Concerning the expansion of multilingual ballot access for electors in the state, and, in connection therewith, making an appropriation.
Session:
2020 Regular Session
Subject:
Elections & Redistricting
Bill Summary

The bill requires the secretary of state (secretary) and county clerk and recorders (county clerk) of certain counties to provide multilingual ballot access.

The secretary is required to establish a multilingual ballot hotline (hotline) to provide access to qualified translators in each of the languages in which the most recent decennial census was offered, to assist electors in translating ballot language. The secretary is required to establish the hotline for use during the general election held in November 2020 November 2022 , and for every general election and statewide odd-year election thereafter. The secretary is also required to:

  • Provide notice of the hotline to electors through election day;
  • Ensure that the translators who provide translations for the multilingual hotline are qualified translators; and
  • Promulgate rules as may be necessary to create and administer the hotline.

The county clerk of any county that satisfies specified criteria is required to create, in coordination with the secretary, a minority language sample ballot (sample ballot) in any minority language spoken in the county that satisfies the following:

  • The minority language is spoken by at least 2,000 citizens in the county age 18 years or older who speak English less than very well and who speak the minority language at home; or
  • The minority language is spoken by at least 2.5% of citizens in the county age 18 years or older who speak English less than very well and who speak the minority language at home.

The bill specifies the information that the county clerk is required to include on the that the sample ballot must include all of the same content that is on the English language ballot as well as and also specifies the format of the sample ballot. In addition, the bill requires that the sample ballots be available for the general election held in November 2020, and for each general election and statewide odd-year election thereafter.

The county clerk of any county that satisfies specified criteria is required to provide, upon the request of an elector, an in-person minority language ballot (in-person ballot) in any minority language spoken in the county that satisfies the same criteria specified for sample ballots. An in-person ballot can be a ballot on demand, a ballot from a printed stock of ballots, or a ballot via an electronic voting device.

The bill specifies the information that the county clerk is required to include on the that the in-person ballot must include all of the same content that is on the English language ballot and specifies that in-person ballots are required to be available for the general election held in November 2022, and for each general election and statewide odd-year election thereafter.

The secretary is required to determine, pursuant to specified criteria, which counties in the state are required to provide multilingual ballot access by creating a sample ballot and providing an in-person ballot, and to notify the county clerk of any county that is required to provide such multilingual ballot access.

The secretary is required to provide each county clerk that is required to provide multilingual ballot access with a translation in the applicable minority language or languages of all federal and statewide candidates for election, all statewide ballot questions, and all statewide questions regarding the retention of judges content that is certified to the county clerks by the secretary of state for use by the county clerk in creating the multilingual ballot access .

For the 2020-21 state fiscal year, $72,112 is appropriated to the department of state from the department of state cash fund for the implementation of the multilingual ballot access requirements.

(Note: Italicized words indicate new material added to the original summary; dashes through words indicate deletions from the original summary.)


(Note: This summary applies to the reengrossed version of this bill as introduced in the second house.)

Status

Introduced
Under Consideration

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Bill Text

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