Latino rights group sues over lack of bilingual ballots

A Latino rights group is suing 32 Florida counties, accusing them of not providing voters with bilingual ballots. 

According to the LatinoJustice group, more than 30,000 in those 32 counties are Spanish-speakers and cannot read the ballot. 

"Over 90 percent of Puerto Rican's come out to vote," said Kira Romero-Craft with the LatinoJustice group. "They take voting seriously and I think the majority would actually be very interested in voting, but they need the materials in order to vote."

The Federal complaint asked a judge to order officials to translate their ballots in time for the Nov. 6 election. 

The lawsuit filed by the LatinoJustice PRLDEF on behalf of several civic groups, including the Mi Familia Vota and Vamos4Pr, as well as a voter from Alachua County. 

Thirty-two counties were named in the lawsuit, including Lake County where the Supervisor of Elections Alan Hays said, "We're meeting the needs of the Spanish speaking."

He said they have a bilingual employee at 10 early voting polling stations. 

He also said a Spanish-speaking employee's number is posted for those who have questions.

"First thing we want to do is make sure every eligible person gets an opportunity to vote," Hays said. 

Lake County only has one ballot and it's in English. 

Hays said Spanish-speaking voters can look at a sample ballot that will be entirely in Spanish. 

Romero-Craft said, "voting is not an easy undertaking. There's so many legal terms that are used and if you look to the November elections, there's constitutional revisions on the ballot, so that's a lot of information."

The lawsuit goes in front of a federal judge on Tuesday.

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