The U.S. Election Assistance Commission, Arizona State University Pastor Center for Politics and Public Service, and Democracy Fund Voice hosted the third annual Language Access for Voters Summit at the Newseum’s Knight Conference Center on Tuesday, July 24, 2018, in Washington, DC.
As in years past, the event convened state and local election officials, advocates and stakeholders from language communities to discuss critical issues of language accessibility. Speakers shared experiences and observations on efforts to serve voters with language needs. Panelists represented Asian American, Latino, American Indian, Alaskan Native, and additional language communities from across the country discussed demographic changes, the Section 203 designation process, federal requirements under the Voting Rights Act, voluntary and proactive language assistance, as well as strategies for cost-effective services. Participants also highlighted how emerging trends in election administration, such as the spread of vote centers and new election technologies, are impacting language access. The summit shared information, as well as generated new understanding and appreciation between various stakeholder communities.