CA Mulls Allowing Non-Citizens to Work Polling Stations as Translators

The State of California is seriously considering allowing non-citizens work at polls throughout the state during elections. 

The Sacramento Bee reported weeks ago that the California Legislature has passed a bill that would let non-citizens who are “lawful permanent residents who meet all the other requirements for being eligible to vote except for citizenship” work at the polls. The bill, apparently aimed at recruiting more Spanish-speaking poll workers, awaits signature from Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown.

Democratic State Sen. Rob Bonta said there are “nearly 3 million citizens who are fully eligible to vote and not English proficient.”

"We have a shortage of multilingual poll workers in the state of California," Bonta said. "There has to be language access at the polls."

Republicans in the State Legislature tried fighting back, but the bill ultimately passed. "Let's keep in mind what poll workers can and cannot do," GOP Assemblywoman Kristin Olsen said. "Poll workers cannot go into a voting booth with a voter, cannot read the ballot to the voter, cannot help them understand what they are voting on."

"If somebody is not registered to vote and they aren't a citizen and they can't vote, then why would they even want to sit at the poll?" GOP Assemblywoman Diane Harkey added. "What could possibly entice them? Is this just another career path? I'm a bit confused."

Nonetheless, the Democrats were able to pass the bill through the legislature. Now the last hope--though a slim one--is that the state's Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown would veto the bill.

California’s Election Integrity Project, a conservative group connected with the national True The Vote, has alleged this effort is directly connected with immigration reform efforts from the left on the state and national level. 

“In a state with no voter ID and only an ‘honor system’ preventing voter impersonation and non-citizen voting, California’s ‘no-borders’ activists are now promoting a bill that allows non-citizens to act as polling place officials,” the group wrote in a recent release.

The president of that group, Linda Paine, said in a statement provided to Breitbart News that “taking the Oath of Allegiance to the United States of America in the formal naturalization process requires prospective citizens to swear allegiance to the United States of America and to support and defend the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America.”

“Non-citizens have not taken this oath, so should not be permitted to participate in the process used by US citizens to elect their government representatives and manage governmental affairs,” Paine said.

“While we recognize that many polling places require workers who can act as interpreters, the proponents of this bill would be hard pressed to show that there are not enough bilingual naturalized and native citizens to fill any ‘other-than-English’ language needs at the polls,” Election Integrity Project Education Director Ruth Weiss added in that statement.

The group is planning a march a week from Thursday to fight back against the politicians who passed this bill without much public debate, where they will protest for five hours outside the California state Capitol building in Sacramento. The “Citizens’ March on Sacramento for Fair and Honest Elections” begins at 10 AM local time on Thursday Aug. 29, and ends at 3 PM.

The discussion of citizenship and elections also took place as the Senate debated the immigration bill it passed in late June. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) expressed concerns about the bill's effect on election integrity, arguing the Senate bill did not ensure fair and honest elections in America. Paul asserted that any immigration bill Congress considered would need to, in addition to securing the border, “secure the vote.”

“Securing the vote is also important in this debate, and I think Congress should look at reforming our ‘motor voter’ laws to prevent fraud as a large bloc of immigrants are legalized but are not eligible to vote,” Paul wrote in a Washington Times op-ed on immigration. Paul referred to the National Voter Registration Act signed by President Clinton in 1993, allowing states to register voters when they apply for driver's licenses, in contrast to states which fail to require individuals to produce driver's licenses when they vote. "Preventing non citizens from being included on the voter rolls is necessary for and consistent with fair immigration reform.”

Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton also told Breitbart News that any amnesty would harm America’s election integrity. “Amnesty will harm the integrity our nation’s elections as surely as night follows day,” Fitton said. “‘Legalizing’ 11 to 20 million aliens will create a new category of potential illicit voters. As it is, our voter rolls have an unknown number of ineligible non-citizen voters. Amnestied aliens will have numerous opportunities to register to vote. And many are bound to improperly do so—and then vote.”


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