Tallahassee, Fla. – Today, Governor Ron DeSantis directed the Florida Department of State (DOS) to initiate rule-making to address the availability of Spanish-language ballots and Spanish-language voter assistance for the 2020 elections and all future elections.
“It is critically important that Spanish-speaking Floridians are able to exercise their right to vote without any language barriers,” said Governor 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.”