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Report: Voting Access in California’s 2022 Primary Election

October 6, 2022 Guides & Reports

Author

Sietse Goffard

Sietse Goffard

Senior Program Coordinator, Voting Rights

Sietse Goffard

Senior Program Coordinator, Voting Rights

Sietse Goffard is the Senior Program Coordinator on the Voting Rights team at Advancing Justice – ALC. His work focuses on fair redistricting and voter empowerment. Sietse previously worked on affordable housing and Section 8 rental assistance programs for the City of Boston. He also spent several years at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) leading projects to tackle racial discrimination in housing and lending. His research and articles have been published by the Brookings Institution, Cato Institute, US-China Perception Monitor, and National Bureau of Economic Research. In addition, Sietse is an avid public transportation enthusiast and served on the advisory council of Washington D.C.’s transit system to advocate for more equitable metro and bus coverage.

Sietse completed his graduate studies at Harvard Kennedy School and at Tsinghua University as a Schwarzman Scholar. He received his undergraduate degree from Harvard College, where he served as class president and co-led a citizenship mentoring program for elderly Asian immigrants.

Voices of Democracy: Highlights from June 2022 Poll Monitoring

New ALC Analysis Finds Areas for Improvement in Voting Access Across California

Advancing Justice - Asian Law Caucus (ALC) is proud to release a new study with important findings from our poll monitoring program in the June 2022 primary election. Our report examines original data collected during visits to 247 voting sites across 15 counties in Northern and Central California.

For six years, ALC has run the largest non-partisan election observation program in Northern California, in partnership with the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area, and with the support of Disability Rights California and other community-based partners. The goal of our long-standing program is to examine voting conditions at the polls, including language access, disability access, and other potential barriers to voting.

Our analysis finds that most Northern and Central California counties complied with federal and state language access requirements during the June 2022 election. At the same time, the report identifies ongoing, systemic challenges to ensuring all Californians can equally and fairly exercise their right to vote. Common issues across the region include inadequate posting of translated sample ballots and related signage, insufficient recruitment of bilingual poll workers, limited provision of assistive devices, and the need for more robust poll worker training on accessible voting equipment.

“All eligible voters in California and across our country should have the opportunity to cast their votes freely and fairly. Language assistance and disability access are an essential part of that. We are heartened that elections offices are providing access to many voters, and we look forward to working with elections officials to continue improving this vital aspect of our democracy,” said Sietse Goffard, senior voting rights program coordinator at ALC and lead author of the study.

We hope that this new report sheds light on various areas for improvement in voting access, and that state and county election offices take steps to address these challenges in the spirit of making California's elections even more inclusive for all voters.

For inquiries about this study, our methodology, or volunteer opportunities with our poll monitoring program, please email pollmonitor@advancingjustice-alc.org. For general information or media inquiries, please email media@advancingjustice-alc.org.