Tell Your Senator: AB 280 Will Safeguard Voting Rights for Californians

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The Senate Appropriations Committee is considering AB 280, a bill that would expand protection of Californians’ voting rights.

Please contact your Senator right away and urge him/her to vote YES on AB 280.

The committee members are Senators de León (chair), Gaines, Hill, Lara, Padilla, Steinberg, and Walters. Download this spreadsheet for contact information for your Senator.

AB 280 responds to last year’s unfortunate U.S. Supreme Court Shelby County ruling that weakened the federal Voting Rights Act. This bill will establish a state preclearance system to ensure that changes to voting laws or procedures do not deny or abridge Californians’ voting rights. Certain practices that could have a discriminatory impact on racial or ethnic groups or limited-English-proficient individuals would need approval from the Secretary of State before taking effect:

  • Replacing district-based with at-large elections
  • Redistricting and other changes in boundaries
  • Changes in voting locations
  • Reductions in the voting materials available in non-English languages.

Tell your Senator that AB 280 will safeguard voting rights for Californians. You can use this sample message; personalize it if you wish:

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Dear Senator xxxx,

Please vote YES on AB 280 (Alejo) to establish a state voting rights preclearance system.

AB 280 will address some of the shortcomings of last year’s Supreme Court Shelby County decision about the federal Voting Rights Act. It will give California voters significant protection against discrimination when changes are made in voting- and elections-related laws and processes.

AB 280 targets practices known to have discriminatory potential, such as boundary changes, switches to at-large elections, and changes to the election day process and materials. Preclearance of changes that could impact racial or ethnic groups or limited-English-proficient individuals will eliminate costly and repetitive litigation.

Providing voter protections will increase civic participation by all Californians. For example, AB 280 will assure that polling place changes are only made for good reason and that all voters receive election information in the language that best allows them to understand the issues.

Please support AB 280. The right to vote is the most basic component of our democracy. Elections should support and empower all voters in exercising this right.

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For more information:

Additional materials: 
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PDF icon AB 280 Fact Sheet326.43 KB