Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 24.2. Elections
Chapter 1.1. Rights of Voters
9/25/2021

§ 24.2-128. (Effective September 1, 2021) Minority language accessibility. (2021 updated section)

A. The State Board shall designate a county, city, or town as a covered locality if it determines, in consultation with the Director of the Census, on the basis of the 2010 American Community Survey census data and subsequent American Community Survey data in five-year increments, or comparable census data, that (i) more than five percent of the citizens of voting age of such county, city, or town are members of a single language minority and are unable to speak or understand English adequately enough to participate in the electoral process; (ii) more than 10,000 of the citizens of voting age of such county, city, or town are members of a single language minority and are unable to speak or understand English adequately enough to participate in the electoral process; or (iii) in the case of a county, city, or town containing all or any part of an Indian reservation, more than five percent of the American Indian citizens of voting age within the Indian reservation are members of a single language minority and are unable to speak or understand English adequately enough to participate in the electoral process.

B. Whenever a covered locality provides any voting or election materials, it shall provide such materials in the language of the applicable minority group as well as in the English language. For purposes of this requirement, "voting or election materials" means registration or voting notices, forms, instructions, assistance, voter information pamphlets, ballots, sample ballots, candidate qualification information, and notices regarding changes to local election districts, precincts, or polling places. For purposes of this requirement, "registration notices" means any notice of voter registration approval, denial, or cancellation required by the provisions of Chapter 4 (§ 24.2-400 et seq.). A covered locality may distribute such materials in the preferred language identified by the voter.

C. The Attorney General, or any qualified voter who is a member of a language minority group for whom a covered locality is required to provide voting or election materials in such language, may institute a cause of action in the circuit court of the covered locality to compel the provision of the voting or election materials in the language of the applicable minority group. In such action, the court may, in its discretion, allow a private plaintiff a reasonable attorney fee as part of the costs, if such plaintiff is the prevailing party.

2021, Sp. Sess. I, cc. 528, 533.