Miami – A lawsuit filed against Florida’s electoral authorities urges the provision of ballots in Spanish for “all” elections in areas where the Puerto Rican population is concentrated, especially in the center of the state.
Although the plaintiff groups, including LatinoJustice PRLDEF (LJP), already won a victory last year, they point out that in times of the COVID-19 pandemic, information for Puerto Ricans in the “language they were educated” becomes even more urgent.
“Ensuring full access to mail-in ballots and materials for Spanish-speakers … has become even more critical given the current COVID-19 public health crisis and the likely expanded – and needed – use of vote by mail throughout Florida in the next election, “they said in the lawsuit.RELATED
In 2019, Judge Mark Walker ordered 32 of Florida’s 67 counties to provide ballots in Spanish from the presidential primaries that were held last March in Florida, in which the winner of the Democratic Party was former US Vice President Joe Biden.
However, the plaintiffs’ attorneys, including Faith in Florida, Hispanic Federation, Mi Familia Vota Education Fund, UnidosUS and Vamos4PR, believe that decision was just the first step and “does not resolve this lawsuit” filed in 2018, according to documents. judicial to which Efe had access this Tuesday.
The lawsuit, filed on behalf of Puerto Rican Marta Valentina Rivera Madera, urges the state to “fully” comply with the Electoral Rights Law, which includes information in Spanish in the “municipal and special elections.”
Latino organizations had sued the state secretary of state for failing to provide ballots and electoral aid in Spanish for the growing Puerto Rican population that has settled in the center of the state and now exceeds 1.3 million.
Ignorance of the English language appears first on the list of difficulties faced by Puerto Ricans in Florida, according to a 2018 study by the Florida International University (FIU) and the Florida Puerto Rican Alliance.
Many of them arrived in Florida after the 2017 scourge of Hurricane Maria and relocated to the center of the state, a region with a large presence of Puerto Ricans who came fleeing from the fiscal crisis of recent years.
Biden, the virtual Democratic nominee, will face President Donald Trump on November 3, who leads him by 4.7 points in national opinion polls.
The counties cited in the lawsuit 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.