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Nearly 70K Voters In LA County Request Non-English Election Materials, Including Vote By Mail Ballots

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Nearly 70,000 voters in Los Angeles County have requested election materials, including Vote by Mail ballots for the Nov. 3 presidential election, in a language other than English, according to Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk Dean Logan.

A man displays his "I Voted" sticker after voting in the library at the Midnight Mission in Skid Row, downtown Los Angeles, California on November 6, 2018. - Americans started voting Tuesday in critical midterm elections that mark the first major voter test of Donald Trump's controversial presidency, with control of Congress at stake. About three quarters of the 50 states in the east and center of the country were already voting as polls began opening at 6:00 am (1100 GMT) for the day-long ballot. (Photo by Frederic J. BROWN / AFP) (Photo credit should read FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images)

Los Angeles County provides fully translated voting materials in Armenian, Chinese, Cambodian/Khmer, Farsi, Korean, Spanish, Tagalog/Filipino, Vietnamese, Hindi, Japanese, Thai and Russian. Facsimile ballots are also available upon request in Burmese, Telugu, Gujarti, Indonesian, Mongolian and Bengali.

The county had issued a notice in late July that all registered voters would be mailed a Vote by Mail ballot to ensure a safe and accessible voting option during the COVID-19 pandemic. Voters are typically asked at the polls what language they would like their ballot in, so another county mailer was sent out, notifying voters that ballots are available in languages other than English.

"In a jurisdiction with an electorate as richly diverse as Los Angeles County, it is essential that voters are aware they have options to receive election materials and their Vote by Mail ballot in their preferred language,'' Logan said. "It's critical for civic participation, and the response to this mailer by close to 70,000 voters is a strong response to our voter outreach and education efforts.''

Federal legislation was passed in 2006 to extend the minority language provisions of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Any county with more than 10,000 residents whose native language is not English and had indicated a lack of proficiency in English on their U.S. Census form is required to provide election materials in the identified languages.

(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)

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