Lawsuit, Emails Show Duval Elections Supervisor Wouldn't Provide Spanish Ballots

Nov 5, 2018

Voting rights groups alleged in a court filing Sunday that Duval County refused to provide Spanish-language sample ballots at early voting sites. The groups attached emails with a city attorney arguing that the county wasn’t required to do so.

In September, a Tallahassee federal judge ordered Duval County Supervisor of Elections Mike Hogan and other supervisors to “provide signage, sample facsimile ballots, and notice in Spanish on their websites.” That order said it was too late to require Hogan to provide official ballots in Spanish.

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In that order, federal Judge Mark E. Walker wrote that “it is remarkable that it takes a coalition of voting rights organizations and individuals to sue in federal court to seek minimal compliance with the plain language of a venerable 53-year-old law.”

Nonprofit organizations Mi Familia Vote Education Fund, Hispanic Federation, Faith in Florida, UnidosUS, and Vamos4PR filed the lawsuit, according to our Florida Times-Union news partner.

According to an emergency motion filed Sunday, “plaintiffs learned earlier today (Sunday, November 4, 2018) that Duval County Supervisor of Elections Mike Hogan (“Duval Supervisor Hogan”) is not providing any Spanish-language facsimile ballots at early voting sites.”

Hogan told a Times-Union reporter he was not available to talk Monday morning. Early voting ended Sunday, and voting will resume Tuesday at 7 a.m.

According to the court filing, a Spanish-speaking voter in Duval asked for a Spanish sample ballot. “Despite her request, a polling official at the early voting site did not provide her a Spanish-language facsimile ballot.”

A longer version of this story is available at jacksonville.com.