Judge rules Florida counties must supply Spanish ballots for 2020 primary elections

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(WCJB) -- A federal judge says 32 of Florida's 67 counties must provide Spanish-language ballots and voter registration for the 2020 primaries.

Those 32 counties have only been printing election materials in English.

Florida resident Marta Valentina Rivera Madera and Latino advocacy and civic engagement groups say the elections are disenfranchising the votes of Spanish-speakers across the state.

They brought a lawsuit last year to change that.

They say a U.S. Census Bureau survey found more than 30,000 Puerto Rican adults in the 32 counties are not proficient in English.

A U.S. district court chief issued a preliminary injunction Friday, saying those English-only elections violate the Voting Rights Act.

By the time votes are cast in Florida's 2020 primary elections on March 17, 2020, 32 of Florida's 67 counties must provide official, paper or electronic, ballots in Spanish -- that includes early voting and vote-by-mail ballots.

Those counties are: Alachua, Bay, Brevard, Charlotte, Citrus, Clay, Columbia, Duval, Escambia, Flagler, Hernando, Highlands, Indian River, Jackson, Lake, Leon, Levy, Manatee, Marion, Martin, Monroe, Okaloosa, Okeechobee, Pasco, Putnam, St. Johns, St. Lucie, Santa Rosa, Sarasota, Sumter, Taylor, and Wakulla.

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