SACRAMENTO (April 23, 2014) — California’s online voter registration website – launched in English and Spanish in 2012 – is now expanded to include eight additional languages: Chinese, Hindi, Japanese, Khmer, Korean, Tagalog, Thai, and Vietnamese. Individuals can now register to vote by visiting http://registertovote.ca.gov and filling out an online form that is available in these languages.
Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Los Angeles (Advancing Justice – LA) applauds the launch of multilingual online voter registration. Online voter registration offers a convenient alternative to filling out a registration form at the local DMV office, or downloading a form, filling it out, and putting it in the mail. Before the November 2012 election, over half a million people used the online voter registration website to register as new voters.
The expansion of online voter registration into multiple languages was a requirement of Senate Bill 35, authored by Senator Alex Padilla and passed in 2012. Advocates expect the translation of online voter registration into multiple languages will help increase registration among Asian Americans and Latinos in California who tend to have relatively low voter registration rates. While 72 percent of non-Hispanic whites and 69 percent of African Americans in California reported being registered to vote in 2012, only 58 percent of Asians and 57 percent of Latinos were registered.
“There are over 6 million Californians who are eligible to vote, but not registered. Online voter registration can help change that, but only if everyone in our community helps publicize the website,” states Eugene Lee, Democracy Project director at Advancing Justice – LA. Community organizations and media outlets can learn what they can do increase awareness about the website by attending a webinar on May 2, 2014 at 10 a.m. PT; information about the webinar is available at https://cc.readytalk.com/r/t157g64pehoi&eom.
The online voter registration website also has a much-improved mobile interface, allowing smartphone and tablet users to register online easily.
Californians who are not registered to vote will need to register by May 19 if they wish to vote in the June 3rd primary. Individuals who are already registered voters do not need to re-register, unless they wish to update their address or change their political party affiliation.
Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Los Angeles is the nation’s largest Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) legal and civil rights organization and serves more than 15,000 individuals and organizations every year. Founded in 1983 as the Asian Pacific American Legal Center, Advancing Justice – LA’s mission is to advocate for civil rights, provide legal services and education, and build coalitions to positively influence and impact Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and to create a more equitable and harmonious society. Through direct legal services, impact litigation, policy analysis and advocacy, leadership development and capacity building, Advancing Justice – LA seeks to serve the most vulnerable members of the AANHPI community while also building a strong AANHPI voice for civil rights and social justice.