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Judge rules Florida counties must provide Spanish-language ballots for 2020 primaries

first_imgA judge has ruled that all Florida counties must provide Spanish-language ballots and voter registration cards in time for the 2020 primary elections.The ruling came in favor of Latino advocacy and civic engagement groups who filed a lawsuit against the state in 2018 for only providing voting materials in English.The groups reported that a majority of the Spanish-language speakers in Florida where left disenfranchised because 32 counties in Florida only provided voting materials in one language.The group also pointed to the federal Voting Rights Act which states that if a student is taught in an American school where the primary language is not English, as it is in Puerto Rico, the student can’t be denied the right to vote just because they cannot understand English.Over 30,000 Puerto Rican’s who are not proficient in English have moved to Florida between 2011 and 2015 the US Census Bureau’s American Community Survey found.Many more Puerto Rican’s came to Florida after the devastation of Hurricane Maria.US District Court Chief Judge Mark Walker sided with the groups on Friday stating, that the English-only elections are in violation of the Voting Rights Act.Florida’s governor and secretary of state have started to process for the change which was applauded by Judge Walker, however, the judge believes the change needs to be made in time for the 2020 primary elections so all legal Florida residents have a fair opportunity to vote.last_img read more