Gov. Jerry Brown signed nearly 30 measures into law Tuesday, including one allowing noncitizens who are permanent legal residents to serve as poll workers in California elections.
The measure will provide more multilingual poll workers for a state where nearly 3 million people who are eligible to vote are not fluent in English, said its author, Assemblyman Rob Bonta (D-Oakland).
Brown "clearly understands the challenges faced by the increasingly diverse voters in our state related to civic engagement and participation," Bonta said.
Republican lawmakers opposed the measure, AB 817, arguing that it could undermine the integrity of the election process. They also said there was no shortage of citizens to work the polls.
"The governor signed the bill to give counties the ability to help diverse communities participate in the civic process," said Jim Evans, a spokesman for Brown.
Bonta noted that poll inspectors, who supervise election activities and guarantee the integrity of the process, still have to be U.S. citizens.