TALLAHASSEE — All Voting is Local Florida and partners sent a letter Wednesday to Seminole County Supervisor of Elections Chris Anderson urging his office to make voting materials available in Spanish equivalent to materials already available in English.
Anderson’s office has not addressed problems voters have had accessing voting information in Spanish. Advocates have asked since 2020 for Anderson to fix these persistent problems, including the following:
- Signage in Spanish at early voting locations is smaller and harder to read than the English versions.
- The Spanish version of the office’s website voteseminole.org contains buttons that are not translated into Spanish.
- The Seminole County Voter Guide contains text in Spanish that is significantly smaller than the text in English.
- When requesting Spanish-language assistance through the Seminole County voter hotline, there is a representative speaking English answers.
Federal law requires Seminole County to provide assistance and voting materials in Spanish. Section 203 of the Voting Rights Act states that if counties have more than 5 percent, or more than 10,000, voting-aged citizens that are members of a single-language minority group and do not “speak or understand English adequately enough to participate in the electoral process,” then they must be provided with voting assistance in that language. That’s why qualifying counties like Seminole must provide assistance and voting materials in Spanish, as more than 18 percent of the voting-age population speaks Spanish.
The groups write in their letter: “As a covered jurisdiction, this section applies to primary and general elections, bond elections and referenda, and to elections of each municipality, school district or special purpose district within Seminole County. The persistence of these unresolved issues will contribute to Spanish-speaking voters facing disproportionate challenges at the polls.”
The following groups signed on to the letter:
- All Voting is Local
- Hope CommUnity Center
- La Mesa Boricua de Florida
- Hispanic Federation
- ACLU of Florida
- LatinoJustice PRLDEF
- Alianza Center
You can view the full letter here.