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    24, August 2023
    Voting Rights Advocates Win Lawsuit Against York County Board of Elections

Voting Rights Advocates Win Lawsuit Against York County Board of Elections

August 24, 2023 
Press Contact: 
Sarai Bejarano, LatinoJustice PRLDEF, [email protected] 
Christina Karkafi, Public Relations Manager, Dechert, [email protected] 
Jossie Flor Sapunar, CASA, [email protected], 240-706-2624  


Voting Rights Advocates Win Lawsuit Against York County Board of Elections  
Settlement to Improve Language Access for Non-English-Speaking Voters in Upcoming Elections  

YORK, PA A settlement agreement was docketed in a federal district court in the lawsuit CASA v. Wheeler, a case alleging that the York County Board of Elections in Pennsylvania was failing to honor its language access obligations under Voting Rights Act to provide Spanish-language ballots, election materials and assistance to voters in the County. 

CASA v. Wheeler was brought by LatinoJustice PRLDEF and Dechert LLP on behalf of CASA, a non-profit civil rights organization advocating for the rights of Latinos, immigrants, and working-class families in Pennsylvania and Puerto Rican voters in the county. According to the Voting Rights Act, Section 4(e) protects the voting rights of U.S. citizens by requiring that eligible voters not fluent in English and educated in Spanish-language schools, such as those in Puerto Rico, receive Spanish-language election materials and assistance.  
The settlement agreement, reached after meaningful collaboration between CASA and York County, will be in place for five-years (through December 31, 2028) will help provide Spanish-language services to voters and will ensure that:  

  • All 161 precincts in York County will have bilingual sample ballots available for reference both online and in-person at polling locations as well as Spanish-language resource sign;  

  • 33 precincts will utilize bilingual Spanish-English paper ballots, with the possibility of greater coverage as demographics change;  

  • Any voter who needs a Spanish-language ballot may use the ImageCast X machine (a touchscreen voting machine) to cast a ballot in Spanish. Judges of election, poll workers and staff will train on how to assist voters on ICX machines. 

As part of the agreement, York County Elections Department employees will be trained on how to direct Spanish-speaking callers to the Spanish language interpretation line on Election Day and the rest of the year. Additionally, important voting updates, such as changes to polling locations, will be communicated in Spanish as well as English, or will provide a notice to Spanish-speaking voters about how to access the information in Spanish. Additionally, training will be provided on use of the Pennsylvania Department of State’s Spanish-language voting hotline, the rights of Spanish-speaking voters under the law, and the availability of other Spanish-language resource signage.  
According to Census figures the Puerto Rican population, as well as the Latino population, have grown significantly in the county with over 39,000 Latinos living in York County, about 8.6% of the county’s total population. Over 14,000 of these residents are of Puerto Rican descent, and 750 of them reported to the Census that they do not speak English well or at all, meaning that they cannot speak or understand English adequately enough to participate in the electoral process. 
Quotes from advocates and clients involved in the case below:  

Making voting accessible and fair for all is a cornerstone of American democracy, and with the settlement in CASA v. Wheeler York County reinforces this commitment ahead of future elections,” said Gustavo Torres, CASA Executive Director. “We are incredibly proud of the work done in collaboration with our partners and of the courage and willingness of York County voters to fight for voting access on behalf of York County’s entire electorate. We set out to achieve proper implementation of the language access law, and this win sends out a strong message across Pennsylvania that all voters in York are respected. We are pleased to have collaborated with York County to ensure greater access to the ballot and we look forward to our ongoing partnership.”  
“This settlement is an important step forward in making voting accessible and fair for all York County voters,” said Julia Chapman, a partner at Dechert LLP. “We remain committed to ensuring that all eligible voters in the United States are able to effectively exercise their right to vote.” 
“This settlement is a big step forward for Spanish-speaking voters in York County," said Rayza Goldsmith, Associate Counsel at LatinoJustice PRLDEF. "Voting is a fundamental right in this country and all eligible voters are entitled to effective access to the ballot, regardless of the language they speak. This settlement agreement ensures that voters across York County have the benefit of expanded Spanish-language resources and assistance on Election Day and year-round."   


About CASA   
With over 149,000 lifetime members across 46 US states, CASA is a national powerhouse organization building power and improving the quality of life in working-class Black, Latino/a/e, Afro-descendent, Indigenous, and Immigrant communities. CASA creates change with its power building model blending human services, community organizing, and advocacy in order to serve the full spectrum of the needs, dreams, and aspirations of members. Visit CASA at and on Twitter at @CASAforall. 

About Dechert LLP 
Dechert is a global law firm that advises asset managers, financial institutions and corporations on issues critical to managing their business and their capital – from high-stakes litigation to complex transactions and regulatory matters. We answer questions that seem unsolvable, develop deal structures that are new to the market and protect clients’ rights in extreme situations. Our 1,000+ lawyers across 21 offices globally focus on the financial services, private equity, private credit, real estate, life sciences and technology sectors. 
About LatinoJustice 
LatinoJustice PRLDEF works to create a more just society by using and challenging the rule of law to secure transformative, equitable and accessible justice, by empowering our community and by fostering leadership through advocacy and education. For 50 years, LatinoJustice PRLDEF has acted as an advocate against injustices throughout the country. To learn more about LatinoJustice, visit