Applicants sought for advisory board on outreach to Spanish-speaking voters
(Denver) – Denver community members with an interest in promoting voting and access to the ballot are encouraged to apply for membership on the ACCESO Spanish-Language Voter Advisory Board. ACCESO assists the Denver Clerk and Recorder’s Elections Division with elections outreach efforts to Denver’s limited-English, Spanish-speaking citizens. Central goals include making voting materials more accessible, ensuring an adequate number of Spanish-speaking poll workers, and increasing voting participation.
The federal Voting Rights Act of 1973 requires that counties provide bilingual election materials and information when more than five percent of the population speak another language, have limited English skills and limited literacy. The City and County of Denver met that threshold for Spanish speakers in 2002.
An advisory board was formed in response to the federal mandate to assist the city in reaching out to Denver’s Spanish-speaking population with bilingual election materials and information. ACCESO (which means “access” in Spanish) has an eight-year history of active commitment to its mission, and provides a valuable service to the city and its limited-English-speaking voters. In early 2010 it was re-created through enactment of a city ordinance to give it permanence and a more formal structure.
“Community participation is a vital part of the Denver elections process and the ACCESO board is a key component of that process,” said Denver Clerk and Recorder Debra Johnson. “We are seeking board members who have a passion for increasing voter participation and a willingness to advocate for Spanish-speaking voters.”
Membership is voluntary and unpaid. Members are expected to attend monthly meetings for up to 3 years and to participate in occasional community outreach efforts. The board consists of thirteen to twenty-five members. Representation is sought from a broad cross section of the Denver Latino community. Applicants must be registered voters and should have a history of involvement with the Spanish-speaking community. Fluency in Spanish is especially welcomed, but not required. Applications are reviewed by the ACCESO board, and members are appointed by the Clerk and Recorder.
Additional information about ACCESO and an application form may be found at www.denvergov.org/acceso or call 720-865-4872 to request an application. Deadline to submit an application is November 15, 2011. Se habla español.
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