MEDIA ADVISORY: Democracy Fund Voice, U.S. Election Assistance Commission to Host Language Access for Voters Summit



June 6, 2017 – 8:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Annandale, Va. – Democracy Fund Voice and the U.S. Election Assistance Commission will host their second annual Language Access for Voters Summit on Tuesday, June 6 from 8:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. The summit, which will feature lectures from national election leaders, expert panels and break-out strategy sessions, comes as state and local election leaders prepare to meet voter access language requirements ahead of the next Federal election cycle.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 20% of Americans speaks a foreign language at home. Among those citizens are voters who may want or need language assistance such as having their ballot or other election materials in their native language. Across the nation, federal law requires over 260 jurisdictions to provide some type of language assistance. Next month’s summit will bring together election officials, voting rights groups, and other experts to meet and share information about the best ways to serve these voters. The day’s topics will include:

  • Changes in national demographics
  • Updates for jurisdictions complying with federal law
  • Cultivating long-term relationships with diverse communities
  • Assessing and planning for resources for language assistance

The Language Access for Voters Summit will take place at Northern Virginia Community College’s Richard J. Ernst Community Cultural Center in Annandale. It is free and open to the press and public. A continental breakfast and lunch is provided.

To RSVP, please visit the event registration page. For more information or to schedule an interview with an event speaker, please contact Brenda Bowser Soder (202/897-9285, (or Philippa Martinez-Berrier (202/464-6609,    

WHAT:          Language Access for Voters Summit hosted by Democracy Fund Voice and U.S. Election Assistance Commission

WHEN:          Tuesday, June 6, 2017 – 8:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

WHERE:        Northern Virginia Community College

Richard J. Ernst Community Cultural Center
8333 Little River Turnpike, Annandale, VA 22003
Complimentary Shuttle Service Available from Dunn Loring Merrifield Metro Station (Orange Line) 

WHO:             Speakers, Panelists and Moderators

  • Natalie Adona, Democracy Fund Voice
  • Indra Arriaga, Elections Language Assistance Compliance Manager, Alaska Division of Elections
  • Brittnie Baker, Fair Elections Legal Network
  • Juan Caretgena, Latino Justice
  • D’Vera Cohn, Pew Research Center
  • Jennifer Driver, Education and Training Manager, Welcoming America
  • Thomas Hicks, Vice Chairman, U.S. Election Assistance Commission
  • Erin Hustings, National Association of Latino Elected & Appointed Officials
  • Deanna Kitamura, Asian Americans Advancing Justice
  • Craig Latimer, Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections, Hillsborough County, Fla.
  • Ryan Macias, U.S. Election Assistance Commission
  • David Marsden, Virginia Senator 37th District
  • Matthew Masterson, Chairman, U.S. Election Assistance Commission
  • Rosie O’Neil, Northern Virginia Community College
  • Maggie Toulouse Oliver, Secretary of State, New Mexico
  • Tom Saenz, President and General Counsel, Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund
  • Cameron Sasnett, Director of the Office of Elections & General Registrar, Fairfax County, Va.
  • Jonathan Stein, Asian Americans Advancing Justice, Asian Law Caucus
  • James Tucker, Pro Bono Voting Rights Counsel, Native American Rights Fund
  • James Whitehorne, U.S. Census Bureau
  • Julie Wise, Elections Director, King County, Washington
  • John Yang, President & Executive Director, Asian Americans Advancing Justice