Elections officials criticized on civil rights issue

    Juneau, Alaska (KINY) A memo from the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights found the state failed many native and bilingual voters in 2016.

    The memo said Alaska didn't have enough trained workers to help Alaska Native voters and other bilingual voters.  It found that translated written materials required by the state were not available in some locations.  It found that some poll workers had not been trained.  In one rural community the only bilingual poll worker left hours before the polls closed.

    Election officials said they have made changes and improvements.  They claim they are in compliance with a U.S. court order that requires language assistance for Alaska Native voters with limited English proficiency.

    The state said it had a toll-free number set up for language assistance.

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