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Senate passes bill on noncitizen poll workers

Posted: July 8, 2013 5:47 p.m.
Updated: July 8, 2013 5:47 p.m.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — The state Senate has approved legislation that would allow immigrants who are not U.S. citizens to assist voters when they cast ballots.

AB817 by Democratic Assemblyman Rob Bonta of Alameda would allow up to five non-citizens to serve at a particular polling site. Those poll workers must be permanent U.S. residents who legally entered the country.

The Senate passed the bill Monday on a 22-10 vote.

Democratic Sen. Norma Torres of Pomona says the workers could provide much-needed help to voters who have limited English skills. She says 2.6 million eligible California voters are not fully proficient in English.

More than three dozen organizations involved in elections and immigrant advocacy have signaled their support for AB817.

It heads back to the Assembly for a final vote.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.


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