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Court Orders Expansion of Spanish Language Access in Florida for Upcoming Elections

Voting Booth

Tallahassee, FL – Today, Judge Mark Walker, the Chief U.S. District Judge in Northern Florida, issued a court order granting a preliminary injunction requiring Florida’s Secretary of State and the Supervisors of Elections of 32 Florida counties to take further steps to comply with section 4(e) of the Voting Rights Act. The order requires the Secretary of State to ensure that those 32 counties provide official ballots in both Spanish and English, Spanish language election assistance, and Spanish translations of other voting materials for elections beginning with the 2020 presidential primary election. 

Congressional Testimony of LatinoJustice PRLDEF on Voting Rights in Florida

On behalf of LatinoJustice PRLDEF I thank Representative Fudge and the members of the Subcommittee on Elections for inviting me to testify on the important subject of voting rights in the State of Florida. While it is safe to say that full compliance with voter protections in any State, including Florida, is always a timely and critical endeavor, this topic, and indeed this hearing, is coming at an opportune time for democracy in this State.

Florida Must Provide Comprehensive Bilingual Voting Assistance

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ proposed rule requiring Spanish-language official ballots throughout the state, which is the direct result of legal pressure, is commendable. However, the governor’s proposed rules are short on details and will not take effect until too far in the future. The law is clear: robust bilingual elections assistance is required. The state needs to comply with its obligations under the Voting Rights Act of 1965. 

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