Counties Throughout Florida Must Offer Voting Materials in More Languages

TALLAHASSEE  All Voting is Local Florida today requested supervisors of elections in various counties throughout the state offer voting materials in additional languages. Currently, election officials in most of these areas are only obligated to ensure accessibility for Spanish-speaking voters, due to clauses under the Voting Rights Act and state requirements.  Florida’s increasingly diverse population, however, has created the need for more materials to cover widely spoken languages in the state like Haitian-Creole, Mandarin, German, and Portuguese. 

The letters were sent to the following counties: Collier, Duval, Hillsborough, Lee, Miami-Dade, Pinellas, Polk, and St. Lucie. Of these counties, currently only Miami-Dade provides materials in a third language Haitian-Creole due to a county ordinance.

“These communities should be able to participate equitably in the election process,” the letters read. “This can be achieved by looking at local fixes to make sure that people are able to cast their vote in the most effective way possible. That is why we call on you to provide electoral information, such as proper signage and a sample ballot, in the languages mentioned above.” 

One of the letters can be found here. Letters sent to all other counties are available upon request.