Coalition Campaign Empowers Spanish-Speaking Voters to Know Their Rights at the Polls

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 31, 2018

TALLAHASSEE–All Voting is Local, LatinoJustice PRLDEF, Common Cause Florida and ACLU of Florida launched today a Spanish-language campaign to educate voters in seven Florida counties on their right to receive language assistance at the polls.

The campaign, “Tu Voto. Tu Idioma” (Your Vote. Your Language) uses digital ads in Spanish targeting registered voters in seven Florida counties: Alachua, Brevard, Clay, Duval, Escambia, St. Johns and Pasco. These jurisdictions are among the 32 counties a federal judge ordered in September to print Spanish-language sample ballots and other voting information to meet the needs of tens of thousands of Puerto Rican voters who moved to Florida after the devastation caused by Hurricane Maria in 2017.

“Voters with limited English face real obstacles at the polls and it’s vital that we work to dismantle any barrier that stands between them and the ballot,” said Dan Horton, Florida State Director for All Voting is Local. “Voters in these counties may not realize they have the right to receive and request sample ballots and assistance at the polls in Spanish. With Election Day drawing close and early voting underway, we are working to encourage voters to make a plan to vote and become familiar with all the resources available to help them make their voices heard.”

The ads, which appeal with phrases such as “voting in your language; it’s your superpower,” refer voters to an All Voting is Local website TuVotoTuIdioma.com,

including various Spanish-language resources about voting in their counties. Voters have the right to bring someone with them to the polling place if they need assistance voting. They can also ask for help in Spanish from a poll worker.

The website explains in Spanish how voters can check their registration, print out a sample ballot, learn voter ID requirements and find their polling place and early voting locations. The materials also promote the around-the-clock bilingual hotline, 1-888-VE-Y-VOTA and its accompanying website, Ve y Vota (Go and Vote), maintained by the nonpartisan NALEO Education Fund.

“There is nothing more essential to our American democracy than voting,” said Kira Romero-Craft, managing attorney for LatinoJustice PRLDEF’s southeast office. “We are very pleased to be part of this initiative to provide information to Puerto Rican and other Latino voters, in the language they understand so they are able to make an informed vote.”

“Every American voter deserves to have easy access to the ballot and the information that surrounds the voting process,” Liza McClenaghan, state chair, Common Cause Florida.  “Florida’s new residents from Puerto Rico, whose native language is Spanish, are eager to participate in the civic life of their new mainland state.  The resources on this site should assist voters in understanding the electoral process and increase participation by providing that material in Spanish.”

“All communities have a voice and a stake in the future of our democracy,” said Kirk Bailey, political director for the ACLU of Florida. “Providing voter education to the Spanish-speaking community is necessary for our democracy to be representative of its citizens and their values.  With these resources, Spanish-speaking voters will be able to access the information they need to protect their right to vote and feel empowered to cast their ballot.”

For more information, please visit: TuVotoTuIdioma.com

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All Voting is Local fights for the right to vote through a unique combination of data-driven organizing, advocacy and communications. It is a collaborative campaign housed at The Leadership Conference Education Fund, in conjunction with Access Democracy; the American Civil Liberties Union Foundation; the American Constitution Society; the Campaign Legal Center; and the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law

LatinoJustice PRLDEF works to create a more just society by using and challenging the rule of law to secure transformative, equitable and accessible justice, by empowering our community and by fostering leadership through advocacy and education.

Common Cause is a nonpartisan, grassroots organization dedicated to upholding the core values of American democracy. We work to create open, honest, and accountable government that serves the public interest; promote equal rights, opportunity, and representation for all; and empower all people to make their voices heard in the political process.

 The ACLU is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that works in courts, Congress, legislatures, and communities to protect and advance the constitutional rights of everybody. With a nationwide network and more than 2 million members and supporters, the ACLU takes up the toughest civil liberties fights. Learn more at aclu.org and aclufl.org

 

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