A pair of Latino organizations are asking election officials in Hall and Gwinnett counties to offer bilingual voting materials leading up to the 2016 general election.
Bilingual ballots are a necessary and important tool that provides citizens with limited English proficiency with the ability to understand sometimes complex ballot items. Under the Voting Rights Act, jurisdictions should provide voting rights assistance for those persons educated in American flag schools whose primary language is not English.
"The law primarily protects Puerto Rican voters as they are native born American citizens and should not lose their right to vote simply because of language barriers when moving to the mainland United States," the letter states. "The lack of bilingual voting materials prevents Spanish speaking Puerto Ricans from fully participating in the Electoral process."
The two groups say that, according to census data, more than 27 percent of Hall County’s population is Hispanic. The figure is 20 percent in Gwinnett.
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