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Bill Detail: HB20-1081

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Title Multilingual Ballot Access
Status Senate Committee on State, Veterans, & Military Affairs Postpone Indefinitely (05/27/2020)
Bill Subjects
  • Elections & Redistricting
House Sponsors Y. Caraveo (D)
Senate Sponsors J. Gonzales (D)
House Committee State, Veterans, and Military Affairs
Senate Committee State, Veterans and Military Affairs
Date Introduced 01/08/2020
Description

The bill requires the secretary of state (secretary) and county clerk
and recorders (county clerk) of certain counties to provide multilingual
ballot access.
The secretary is required to establish a multilingual ballot hotline
(hotline) to provide access to qualified translators in each of the
languages in which the most recent decennial census was offered, to

assist electors in translating ballot language. The secretary is required to
establish the hotline for use during the general election held in November
2020, and for every general election and statewide odd-year election
thereafter. The secretary is also required to:
  • Provide notice of the hotline to electors through election
day;
  • Ensure that the translators who provide translations for the
multilingual hotline are qualified translators; and
  • Promulgate rules as may be necessary to create and
administer the hotline.
The county clerk of any county that satisfies specified criteria is
required to create, in coordination with the secretary, a minority language
sample ballot (sample ballot) in any minority language spoken in the
county that satisfies the following:
  • The minority language is spoken by at least 2,000 citizens
in the county age 18 years or older who speak English less
than very well and who speak the minority language at
home; or
  • The minority language is spoken by at least 2.5% of
citizens in the county age 18 years or older who speak
English less than very well and who speak the minority
language at home.
The bill specifies the information that the county clerk is required
to include on the sample ballot as well as the format of the sample ballot.
In addition, the bill requires that the sample ballots be available for the
general election held in November 2020, and for each general election
and statewide odd-year election thereafter.
The county clerk of any county that satisfies specified criteria is
required to provide, upon the request of an elector, an in-person minority
language ballot (in-person ballot) in any minority language spoken in the
county that satisfies the same criteria specified for sample ballots. An
in-person ballot can be a ballot on demand, a ballot from a printed stock
of ballots, or a ballot via an electronic voting device.
The bill specifies the information that the county clerk is required
to include on the in-person ballot and specifies that in-person ballots are
required to be available for the general election held in November 2022,
and for each general election and statewide odd-year election thereafter.
The secretary is required to determine, pursuant to specified
criteria, which counties in the state are required to provide multilingual
ballot access by creating a sample ballot and providing an in-person
ballot, and to notify the county clerk of any county that is required to
provide such multilingual ballot access.
The secretary is required to provide each county clerk that is
required to provide multilingual ballot access with a translation in the
applicable minority language or languages of all federal and statewide
candidates for election, all statewide ballot questions, and all statewide
questions regarding the retention of judges for use by the county clerk.

Committee Reports
with Amendments
Full Text
Full Text of Bill (pdf) (most recent)
Fiscal Notes Fiscal Notes (06/22/2020) (most recent)  
Additional Bill Documents Bill Documents
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  • Past fiscal notes
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