CARSON CITY, Nev. — Today, the Assembly Committee on Legislative Operations and Elections will hear a presentation and testimonies on AB246, a pro-voter bill that will increase language accessibility for elections held in the state. In anticipation of the hearing, the Let Nevadans Vote coalition, which includes organizations such as All Voting is Local Action Nevada, Asian Community Development Council, Silver State Voices, Make the Road Nevada, and One APIA Nevada, released the following statement:
“The introduction of AB 246 is a huge step forward for the diverse communities in Nevada and the dismantling of language-related barriers that they may face when it comes to the ballot box. This bill, which will exponentially increase the amount of voter resources such as sample ballots in various languages, voter education materials, and language translation services, will be the first step in ensuring our election departments are ready to serve the language needs of the diverse communities in Nevada.”
“Language accessibility is essential to inform all voters, regardless of the language they speak, for it gives the voter necessary information needed to exercise their right to vote. This bill is crucial in empowering voters whose primary language isn’t English to cast their ballots based on accurately translated information about candidates and ballot measures. Language should not be a barrier for Nevada’s diverse and growing populations, including Spanish-speaking and AAPI communities, who deserve equitable access to election materials in our native languages.
Last April, in partnership with several groups, All Voting is Local Nevada released “Ballots for All: Improving Language Access for Nevada Voters” in both English and Spanish to highlight the need for translated ballots and voter education materials in the state. The group’s analysis of geographic and census data revealed nearly half a million Nevadans over the age of 18 speak a language other than English, with over 125,000 of them being people whose primary language is not English, underscoring the need for more counties to provide voting materials in the languages voters speak. This year, AVL Action Nevada further released an updated Ballots for All: Improving Language Access for Nevada Voters fact sheet in English and Spanish with updated data and policy recommendations.
Primary sponsors of the bill are: Assemblywoman Selena Torres, Assemblywoman Elaine Marzola, Assemblyman Howard Watts, and Assemblywoman Cecelia González.