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California adds 8 languages, including Tagalog, to online voter registration system

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California adds 8 languages, including Tagalog, to online voter registration system

/ 01:10 AM April 23, 2014

• Asian advocates pushed for additions to address low Asian voter registration rates

• Only 58 percent of Asians were registered voters in 2012

SACRAMENTO, California – California’s system of online voter registration – launched in English and Spanish in 2012 – has been expanded to allow voters to register online in eight additional languages: Chinese, Hindi, Japanese, Khmer, Korean, Tagalog, Thai and Vietnamese.

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New voters can now register online at http://registertovote.ca.gov/.

To register to vote online, voters will need their California driver’s license or California identification card number, the last four digits of their Social Security number and their date of birth.

Those without a California driver’s license or California ID card can still use the online form to apply to register to vote by completing the online interview by 11:59:59 p.m. Pacific Time on the 15th calendar day before an election, but an additional step by postcard may be required.

Advocates pushed for this expansion, noting that Asian Americans in California tend to have a relatively low voter registration rate.

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 were registered.

“California has millions of immigrant citizens who are still learning English, citizens we need as full participants in our democracy,” said Greenlining Institute Claiming Our Democracy Director Michelle Romero.

“This is an important step to help bridge the voter registration gap in communities of color,” Romero added.

Californians who wish to vote in the June 3 primary will need to register to vote by the 15th day before the election, which is May 19.

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Voters can also update their address if they have moved or changed their political party affiliation by that date.

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TAGS: Asian languages, Asian voter turnout, California elections, Elections, online voter registration, party membership, polls, suffrage, voting
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