EAC/ASU Language Access for Voters Summit July 24

[Image via EAC]

The U.S. Election Assistance Commission is once again hosting an annual Language Access for Voters summit next Tuesday, July 24 at the Newseum in Washington, DC. Here’s more from the EAC info page:

The U.S. Election Assistance Commission, Arizona State University Pastor Center for Politics and Public Service, and Democracy Fund Voice are hosting 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 convenes state and local election officials, advocates and stakeholders from language communities to discuss critical issues of language accessibility. Speakers will share experiences and observations on efforts to serve voters with language needs. Panelists representing Asian American, Latino, American Indian, Alaskan Native, and additional language communities from across the country will discuss 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 will also highlight how emerging trends in election administration, such as the spread of vote centers and new election technologies, are impacting language access. The summit aims to share information, as well as generate new understanding and appreciation between various stakeholder communities.

AGENDA
9:00 – 9:10 am Welcome and Introductions

● Tom Hicks, Chair, U.S. Election Assistance Commission
● Alberto Olivas, Founding Executive Director, Pastor Center for Politics and Public Service, Arizona State University
● Terry Ao Minnis, Senior Fellow and Consultant, Democracy Fund Voice

9:10 – 10:20 am Session 1: Overview – Current Issues and Looking Ahead to 2021
The 2018 elections are the first federal general elections since the most recent Section 203 determinations. This opening session will help set the stage for the day’s discussion, focusing on best practices, and practical tools for serving language minority voters for implementing Section 203 and beyond. Panelists will discuss demographic shifts and their impact for serving language needs across the nation, as well as current issues faced by covered jurisdictions and those who are close to coverage.
Moderator:
Terry Ao Minnis, Senior Fellow and Consultant, Democracy Fund Voice
Panelists:
● Julie Barker, Election Operations Supervisor, Clark County, Nevada
● Rosalind Gold, Senior Director, Policy, Research and Advocacy, NALEO Education Fund
● James Whitehorne, Chief, Redistricting and Voting Rights Data Office, U.S. Census Bureau
● John C. Yang, President and Executive Director, Asian Americans Advancing Justice – AAJC

10:20 – 10:45 am Remarks from the Department of Justice● John Gore, Acting Assistant Attorney General, Civil Rights Division, U.S. Department of Justice

10:45 – 11:00 am Coffee Break
11:00 – 11:15 am Summit Talk: Deaf Culture and Access to the Vote Speaker:
● Michelle Bishop, Voting Rights Specialist, National Disability Rights Network
11:15 – 12:25 pm Session 2: Cost-Effective Practices for Providing Language Assistance
Effectively providing language assistance requires an investment in resources and time. Additionally, jurisdictions must be fiscally responsible and efficient with their spending. Small and medium-sized jurisdictions with limited resources, as well as jurisdictions covered for multiple languages, face particular challenges in this regard. This session will focus on cost-effective ways to provide language assistance, from small to big ideas.
Moderator:
Christy McCormick, Vice Chair, U.S. Election Assistance Commission
Panelists:
● Sonya L. Aston, Administrator of Elections, Harris County, Texas
● Deanna Kitamura, Project Director, Voting Rights, Asian American Advancing Justice – Los Angeles
● Kathy Placencia, Administrator of Elections, Board of Canvassers and Voter Registration, Providence, Rhode Island
● Dr. James Tucker, Pro Bono Voting Counsel, Native American Rights Fund

12:25 – 1:25 pm Lunch and Guest Speaker

● Nellie M. Gorbea, Secretary of State, Rhode Island

1:25 – 2:35 pm Session 3: Above and Beyond Section 203: Voluntary Assistance and Other Proactive Measures
Section 203 has fostered language assistance for many language minority voters over the last 40 plus years. However, as effective as it has been, Section 203 is limited to specific jurisdictions that meet the thresholds. Election stakeholders have used multiple tools to go beyond Section 203 in serving their language minority voters, including voluntary language assistance to meet a community need, effective implementation of Section 208, utilization of Section 4(e) for Puerto Rican voters, and enacting state laws to expand the franchise for language minority voters. This session will explore these and other efforts to ensure that all language minority voters are able to access needed assistance and cast a meaningful vote.
Moderator:
● Stacey Scholl, Senior Program Associate, Elections, Democracy Fund Voice
Panelists:
● Bill Cowles, Supervisor of Elections, Orange County, Florida
● Nicole L. Crispo, City Clerk, City of Quincy, Massachusetts
● Francesca Menes, Florida State Coordinator, Local Progress/Center for Popular Democracy
● Kira Romero-Craft, Managing Attorney, Southeast Regional Office, LatinoJustice PRLDEF
2:35 – 2:50 pm Afternoon Break
2:50 – 3:30 pm Summit Chat: Language Community Outreach in Alaska: Building Relationships, Trust, and Tapping Cultural Knowledge
Moderator:
● Alberto Olivas, Founding Executive Director, Pastor Center for Politics and Public Service, Arizona State University
Speakers:
● Indra Arriaga, Elections Language Assistance Compliance Manager, Alaska Division of Elections
● Walkie Charles, PhD, Associate Professor, University of Alaska Fairbanks
3:30 – 4:45 pm Session 4: Trends in Election Administration and their Impact on Language Access
The field of election administration is constantly changing. Recent shifts include growing alternatives to traditional precinct-based voting (e.g. vote-by-mail, early voting, vote centers) and increased focus on election technology and the auditability of voting systems. This session will look at these trends and others through the lens of language access and explore how to anticipate and meet the needs of language minority voters when considering changes to election policy or practice. Our last summit session aims to take the discussion beyond the importance of Section 203 compliance towards expanded approaches to language assistance.
Moderator:
● Tom Hicks, Chair, U.S. Election Assistance Commission
Panelists:
● Matt Beaton, Auditor, Franklin County, Washington
● Maria Bianchi, Director, Voting Information Project, Democracy Works
● Travis Lane, Assistant Director, Inter Tribal Council of Arizona
● Whitney Quesenbery, Co-Director, Center for Civic Design
● Jonathan Stein, Staff Attorney and Program Manager – Voting Rights, Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Asian Law Caucus
4:45 – 4:55 pm Closing and Next Steps
Kudos to the EAC, ASU, and Democracy Fund Voice for organizing the Summit; this looks like an amazing event with many of the smartest people in the field – and if you are in the DC area, there are few places with a better view of the city than the Newseum!  To register, click here … and if you can’t make it the sessions will be webcast.
Whether in person or online, be sure to stay tuned …

2 Comments on "EAC/ASU Language Access for Voters Summit July 24"

  1. Tomorow is 24, let’s vote for a better administration.

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