In 2012 the Registrar of Voters produced the Voting Rights Act Compliance and Bilingual Outreach Update Report.
The purpose of this report is to highlight the Department’s compliance with the Federal Voting Rights Act, Section 203.
The updated report details the federal requirements, provides insight into the Department’s approach to meeting the requirements, and provides profiles of Orange County’s diverse communities.
A unique piece among election officials, the report is designed for any citizen or group interested in Orange County elections.
Community Outreach: The Department participates in hundreds of events throughout the County each year, reaching thousands of citizens. In addition to providing outreach the Registrar provides election materials and bilingual assistance in mandated languages in order to comply with the Act.
Full time Community Program Specialists were hired to accommodate our requirements with the various language communities served. These staff members are native speakers of the covered languages and represent the County in their respective communities.
To ensure accessibility of election information for limited-English proficiency voters, the Registrar of Voters provides translated election materials in all four supported languages in addition to English.
The types of election materials our office translates includes: voting materials, polling place information, election publications, voter outreach and education information, and website information.
The Registrar of Voters also provides a strong base of bilingual support to limited-English voters. This is accompanied by meeting federal and state bilingual poll worker requirements, recruiting bilingual personnel for the public phone bank and maintaining permanent bilingual staff.
Profiles of Language Communities: Topics explored in this section include demographics of the community, bilingual poll worker recruitment requirements, challenges in engaging the voting community and providing language assistance, and the challenges and strategies of presenting a comprehensive voter education and outreach program.
Partnerships with Community-Based Organizations: The Registrar of Voters meets with dedicated individuals from various organizations across Orange County including: advocacy groups, civic groups, citizen leagues, senior centers, and churches. In 2009 the Department established the Community Election Working Group that involves multiple community based and political organizations involved in Orange County elections.
As we continue to expand our language assistance programs to better serve the language communities, we have identified several trends that require attention in the future, including voter interest in vote-by-mail, voter utilization of bilingual poll workers, increasing voter requests for more election information.