Los Angeles County officials and advocates for immigrant communities are hoping a recent change in state law will help them recruit more bilingual poll workers for the upcoming primary election.
The newly enacted law allows permanent legal residents — commonly known as green-card holders — to staff the polls on June 3, even though they can't vote themselves.
"I can't overemphasize the importance of having bilingual poll workers, having bilingual assistance at the polls," said Deanna Kitamura, senior staff attorney for Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Los Angeles.
In L.A. County, with its sizable immigrant population, many potential voters are not fluent in English. And for green-card holders, Kitamura said, working the polls "provides them a glimpse of U.S. democracy."
The county is still seeking about 2,500 poll workers in all, including more than 600 bilingual volunteers.