YORK, Pa. (WHTM) – Spanish-speaking voters in York County will have an easier time making their voices heard this Midterm Election.
The York County Board of Elections reached a temporary agreement with Latino civil rights groups after a lawsuit claimed the board did not provide Spanish-speaking voters with the materials and assistance they needed during the May Primary.
The case was filed on behalf of the non-profit organization CASA and Puerto Rican voters in an effort to remove English-only barriers for Puerto Ricans who reside in York County.
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“I remember someone told me ‘apparently, democracy is in English,’ and that’s not true. Democracy is in the language of the people,” CASA Senior Director of Membership Maria Gutierrez said.
The lawsuit was filed after some Puerto Rican voters told CASA they struggled to cast their ballot in English.
The agreement, which was solidified on Wednesday, will provide al 161 voting precincts in York County with bilingual sample ballots. 18 precincts will allow voters to cast their ballot in Spanish.
Some polling locations will also have bilingual workers. Alongside that, Spanish speakers will be available by phone for voters with questions on election day.
Because the agreements reached are only temporary, the lawsuit is still active. CASA and “LatinoJustice PRLDEF” said both groups will continue to fight on behalf of Spanish-speaking voters.
“It’s not really enough just to have someone answering the phone in Spanish on Election Day,” Associate Council at LatinaJustice Rayza Goldsmish said. “We want to see that sort of thing exist indefinitely.”