DeSantis Seeks Spanish Language Ballots For The 2020 Elections

April 14, 2019

Gov. Ron DeSantis directed the Florida Department of State (DOS) last week to begin the process to address the availability of Spanish-language ballots and Spanish-language voter assistance for the 2020 elections and all future elections.

Last year, a federal judge ordered 32 counties, including Escambia and Santa Rosa, to provide Spanish-language sample ballots. Now groups are seeking a preliminary injunction to require elections materials and ballots in Spanish in those counties after August 1.

“It is critically important that Spanish-speaking Floridians are able to exercise their right to vote without any language barriers,” said DeSantis. “Florida has a significant Spanish-speaking population and our state is home to many Puerto Ricans who moved here after the devastation of Hurricane Maria. These fellow citizens should be able to fully participate in our democracy, which is why I am directing the Department of State to address voting accessibility issues for Florida’s Spanish-speaking community statewide.”

Voter-related materials are already provided in Spanish at the state-level. Currently, 46 counties are subject to varying requirements to accommodate voters who speak other languages, including 13 counties required under federal law to provide bilingual ballots and election materials.

“As Florida’s Chief Elections Officer, one of my top priorities is ensuring that all Floridians have a fair and equal opportunity to vote in our elections,” said Secretary of State Laurel M. Lee. “I applaud Governor DeSantis for his leadership on addressing the availability of Spanish-language ballots, and I look forward to working with Supervisors of Elections and other stakeholders as we move through the rule-making process.”


23 Responses to “DeSantis Seeks Spanish Language Ballots For The 2020 Elections”

  1. linda hooks on April 18th, 2019 10:16 am

    Cuban should not be able to vote. Marjority of cubans were taken out of jail and put on boats. They are not natural citizens. They have no voice. They have been here for decades and had plenty of time to learn our language. We have surported them for decades and still are. They have turned south florida into a little cuba.this is unconstitutional.stop cateri g to them.

  2. linda hooks on April 18th, 2019 10:08 am if they are old enough to read and live in America,then they know our la guage therefore they are illeagles. They have not become a citizen of u.s.a. therefore can not vote. They should not have the right to vote. You have to be a legalize citizen to vote. Ron we elected you to represent the citizens of florida not the illegals. Know that or resign.

  3. Nod on April 15th, 2019 5:16 pm

    If you can not speak English stay home.?? I was born and raised in the USA and I am still learning E nglish

  4. Reality Check on April 15th, 2019 7:50 am

    @Tabby, And yet the irony of “Taxation without Representation” is still beyond you.

  5. RANDY BRIDGEMAN on April 15th, 2019 7:42 am

    One would assume that an applicant for US citizenship would at minimum, be familiar with basic English before it’s granted. Such a person should be able to comprehend a ballot form in English. If not, sample ballots on which to practice and familiarize oneself may be obtained prior to elections. As such, I really don’t see the need to have separate ballots printed for Spanish speakers or for any other group for that matter.

  6. Molino Girl on April 14th, 2019 10:02 pm

    Some of you may not realize that although Puerto Rico itself holds no electoral votes, once Puerto Rican citizens move to the mainland they are eligible to vote not only in the primaries but also in the general elections. Puerto Ricans and Cubans have a high percentage of spanish speakers and we have large population of Puerto Rican and Cuban citizens. Florida is super important in this nation’s presidential elections as we all know so making the ballot easier to understand is probably a good idea.

  7. Molino Girl on April 14th, 2019 9:29 pm

    Thank you Old Guy, Reality Check and especially Luis Santos for providing some light in the darkness. Some of the other comments sadly show the lack of understanding of what America is made of. America is a nation of immigrants along with native peoples. There are people of many cultures and many backgrounds whose ancestors have been here probably longer than they have and do not speak english as their first language. They are just as much an American as anyone else. Expand your mind. Being a native born, english speaking US citizen does not make you any better or more worthy than any other US citizen who doesn’t happen to have english as a first language. The right to vote should be made as trouble free and as understandable as possible for every citizen who is eligible to vote. I think the idea of making amendments and other ballot selections as understandable as possible for all is a good idea, because no one needs the citizenry voting for something they don’t really understand. Just FYI… The US has the second largest Spanish speaking population in the world and millions of them are US citizens.

  8. Sandy on April 14th, 2019 9:19 pm

    Over 200 years ago English was voted as the official language of this new country. Stop catering to everyone else except those who speak the official language because that was how they were raised. I have a multicultural family from a number of different countries (all naturalized) who have never complained that ballots were not in their native language.

  9. Tabby on April 14th, 2019 8:08 pm

    @Reality Check–What you fail to realize sir is that Puerto Rico has no effect on the election of the President of the United States, which is not a Democracy but a Republic which I’m sure you didn’t know. See, I realize liberalism is a disease of the mind that ensures you have a belief system rooted in emotion, not fact. However, Puerto Rico holds no electoral votes so your comment is moot. I love how you yuppies think that because we live in the country, raise livestock, and enjoy a slower pace of life, that we’re stupid. No sir, we live this way so we can tell who good people are in this crazy world. I’m just grateful to have risen on the right side of the grass this morning.

  10. Bewildered on April 14th, 2019 8:02 pm

    I am a naturalized citizen and was required to prove that I spoke basic English before I was eligible to be sworn in. Stupid to print ballots in other languages. If non speaking people have no idea what a candidate stands for – how can they make an intelligent choice.

  11. Old Guy on April 14th, 2019 7:06 pm

    One can be citizen of this country but speak a native tongue more fluently than English. While names of candidates may be non-issues, it may be easier for some who have the legal right to vote to read amendments and other proposals written in legalese if those were written in, this case at least, Spanish.

  12. CW on April 14th, 2019 4:30 pm

    @Florida logger

    You may think you are doing the right thing by keeping your kids from learning Spanish, but in fact you are holding them back. In the future many jobs will go to people who are bilingual rather than people who can just speak one language, especially management positions. One day it may mean the difference of whether your child gets a job that pays $100k a year, or $30k a year.

    I don’t like all of the Spanish speaking either, but facts are facts.

  13. Reality Check on April 14th, 2019 3:26 pm

    Many of the commenters fail to realize that Puerto Rico is in fact an American territory. The main language there is Spanish. Many of those residents often migrate to Florida, are still tax paying Americans, and guaranteed the right to participate in our/their government. Their rights don’t end where your feelings begin to hurt. Suck it up buttercups.

  14. Concerned Citizen on April 14th, 2019 12:27 pm

    If you can’t speak and read English then you shouldn’t be able to vote. If this was for a ballot to be in Braille for the blind, that would be different.

  15. Sedition on April 14th, 2019 12:22 pm

    Speak our language or get the hell out.
    How much is this travesty going to cost the taxpayers?

  16. Luis Santos on April 14th, 2019 12:15 pm

    When I started working in south Louisiana back in ‘80, there were a lot of people born and raised in Louisiana who could not speak english, only cajun french, when we started working in Alaska, there were a lot of people who only spoke Inuit or Aleut no English. Many native Americans only speak their native tongue. I learned a second language so that I can communicate with others

  17. Florida logger on April 14th, 2019 11:21 am

    Keep Spanish in Mexico or wherever they talk it . My kids will not take Spanish in school I will draw them out of school we are a special kind of people were Americans and white.

  18. anne 1of2 on April 14th, 2019 11:13 am

    So, exactly when did the USA adopt Spanish as our second language?.

  19. Jimmy on April 14th, 2019 11:08 am

    Hear that? That’s America’s death rattle. She will be missed.

  20. SW on April 14th, 2019 10:43 am

    I would think anyone who is a citizen, born or naturalized, would speak/read English. But what do I know?
    Citizenship is still required, right? (Asking for a friend).

  21. Sandy on April 14th, 2019 8:55 am

    I disagree. If you are a US citizen and passed the citizenship process, you should be able to speak English. Keep the voting process in English.

  22. Bob C. on April 14th, 2019 7:22 am

    Any CITIZEN of the United States of America who is a Spanish speaker and who presents a Valid Photo Identification at the time of voting and who is Eligible to vote is 100% Okay with me.
    Same is true for anyone who is a CITIZEN of the USA and speaks any other language as their native tongue, including English, and who presents a Valid Photo Identification at the time of voting and who is Eligible to vote is Welcome to cast their ballot.
    Undocumented, Illegal, Non-USA-Citizens are NOT to vote under any circumstances along with just the Random Guest or Visitor who is Not a US Citizen.
    Voting is for WE the People not for just stuffing the ballot box.

  23. Mark on April 14th, 2019 6:26 am

    So when will a Federal Judge order all you politicians to campaign in spanish so they will better understand the lies?

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