In the letter they sent Wednesday, GALEO and LatinoJustice conceded that “municipalities within Gwinnett County are working together to translate materials in a standardized fashion” and that Gwinnett is “in the process of developing a bilingual registration form.”
But the groups took issue with the “outdated federal Spanish language voter registration forms and assistance guides” they said Gwinnett and its cities are using in the meantime. Their letter also claims that the cities of Auburn, Braselton, Duluth, Berkeley Lake, Snellville and Sugar Hill are using translations on their websites that are “not fully accurate nor complete.”
The groups asked to arrange a meeting with county officials.
Citing pending litigation between the county and GALEO (which involves separate voting rights claims unrelated to ballots), Gwinnett spokesman Joe Sorenson declined to comment on a possible meeting with the group. He did say, however, that the county had made "enormous strides toward full compliance" and continues to "work diligently to complete the task."
“We will have timely completed everything required of the county in advance of the city elections,” Sorenson wrote in an email, “and will have very little left to do beyond that to reach full compliance.”
Only three cities specifically called out by GALEO and LatinoJustice regarding translations – Braselton, Duluth and Sugar Hill – have municipal elections scheduled for November.
Stephen Pereira is the city attorney for Duluth, and his law firm also represents Sugar Hill and two other Gwinnett cities.
Pereira said the cities represented by his firm believe that are already in compliance but were willing to meet with the advocacy groups.
“We want to hear them out,” Pereira said. “… We look at this as a potential to continue to keep doing a good job.”
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