Poll Monitors Mobilized to Protect Rights of Limited-English-Proficient Voters

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As the rights of immigrants across the country are threatened, Asian Americans Advancing Justice-California is expanding its non-partisan efforts to make sure voters in California’s limited-English-proficient immigrant communities are able to exercise their right to vote without impediment.

“Tomorrow we expect to see voters from all walks of life casting their votes here in California,” Jonathan Stein, Voting Rights Program manager and staff attorney at Advancing Justice-Asian Law Caucus, said Monday. “For California’s democracy to be truly representative of its diverse population, California has an obligation to provide the most effective language assistance possible.”

“We are proud to help safeguard Californians’ right to vote,” said Deanna Kitamura, Voting Rights Project director at Advancing Justice-Los Angeles. “Every voter deserves to participate in the democratic process, no matter their language proficiency.”

Advancing Justice-California is a joint project between Advancing Justice-Asian Law Caucus in San Francisco and Advancing Justice-Los Angeles. Its Election Day poll monitoring work ensures that voting sites comply with state and federal laws requiring language assistance for limited-English-proficient voters.

Poll monitoring also ensures access for voters with disabilities and works to prevent other barriers to the ballot, such as voter harassment and inappropriate and unlawful voter ID requirements.

The organizations have conducted poll monitoring for over two decades. This election, the two organizations will send over 350 poll monitors to more than 800 voting sites in 16 counties across the state, from Orange to Yolo to Stanislaus.

“Now is the time to exercise our right to vote, to hold our elected officials accountable, and to demand real change,” said Aarti Kohli, executive director of Advancing Justice-Asian Law Caucus. “While the current political climate is incredibly challenging, we must seize opportunities to create systemic change whenever we can.”

“With the current rhetoric of xenophobia and hate, our communities’ voices are critical at this time,” said Reshma Shamasunder, vice president of Advancing Justice-Los Angeles. “Thanks to our poll monitors, hopefully, all voters feel confident casting their ballots at the polls.”

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