Florida Court Case Seeks Spanish-Language Ballots

Florida Court Case Seeks Spanish-Language Ballots

A coalition of groups has asked a federal judge to require 32 Florida counties to offer Spanish-language ballots and other election materials.

The case, filed in federal court in Gainesville, Florida, seeks a preliminary injunction requiring Spanish-language ballots and other election materials starting August 1 in the 32 counties.

Last September, Chief U.S. District Judge Mark Walker required those same counties to provide Spanish-language sample ballots, but did not require Spanish-language ballots or any other types of materials or assistance, stating as reasoning that there was not enough time to do so before the November 2018 elections.

The new motion for a preliminary injunction seeks to require Florida Secretary of State Laurel Lee to direct the election supervisors in the 32 counties to take the additional steps necessary to provide Spanish-language ballots and all other election materials going forward. Additional materials beyond Spanish-language ballots would include envelopes, guides, instructions, signs, registration materials, and websites, all to be provided in Spanish as well as in English.

ProEnglish agrees with the late John Silber, former President of Boston University, who stated during his 1996 testimony to Congress that bilingual ballots “ impose an unacceptable cost by degrading the very concept of the citizen to that of someone lost in a country whose public discourse is incomprehensible to him.”

ProEnglish believes that there are five key reasons to oppose multilingual ballots: (1) there is no justification for multilingual ballots and election materials; (2) multilingual ballot requirements are arbitrary and wasteful; (3) multilingual ballots are an unfunded mandate on local governments; (4) multilingual ballots increase the likelihood of errors and vote fraud; (5) multilingual ballots are a growing burden.

Read more about why ProEnglish opposes multilingual ballots at this link:

Multilingual Ballots