By Shirley Anderson, Hernando County Supervisor of Elections
In 2018, Hernando County was involved in a lawsuit with 32 other counties regarding voters from Puerto Rico who evacuated to Florida after Hurricane Maria. They are U.S. citizens, educated in American schools, but English is not their primary language.
The counties were required to provide Spanish sample ballots for the Nov. 6, 2018, general election in all forms, including websites, mailings, advertisements and at all voting locations.
Spanish-language election materials were required, so a number of the Hernando County publications were translated and made available on our website in English and in Spanish.
Additional measures, such as hiring additional bilingual election workers and providing bilingual language assistance, also were required.
The judge ordered ballots and all voting materials to be in English and in Spanish for the March 17, 2020, presidential primary and all future elections.
Also, in a policy decision, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis mandated that all Florida counties must provide ballots and voting materials in English and in Spanish for future elections. All counties must provide voting materials in Spanish, language assistance at the polls and the use of a Spanish-language assistance hotline.