The Pasco County Commission has approved a budget amendment for $215,000, relating to bilingual ballots, election materials and assistance for the 2020 election cycle.
The commission’s action came in response to a request by Pasco County Election Supervisor Brian Corley, who asked for the additional funds to comply with a federal court order and a directive from Gov. Ron DeSantis.
The Pasco County Supervisor of Elections Office and 31 other counties were named as party defendants, along with the Florida Secretary of State, in a federal election lawsuit, Corley told commissioners in a Nov. 5 letter.
The lawsuit was initiated in August 2018 and remains pending, according to Corley’s letter.
“However, on May 10, 2019, the United States District Court Northern District of Florida, Gainesville Division issued a comprehensive order granting a preliminary injunction mandating the Secretary of State and the 32 named counties, including my office, literally provide Spanish language assistance and all election/voting materials to be in both English and Spanish commencing with the 2020 presidential preference primary, which is on March 17, 2020,” Corley’s letter says.
DeSantis also has directed the Secretary of State Laurel M. Lee to amend the state’s rules to “mandate that all counties in Florida provide bilingual election ballots in Spanish and English during the 2020 election cycle,” Corley added.
Corley’s letter also explained that compliance with the District Court ruling and administrative mandates “requires the Supervisor of Elections throughout the state to provide all voter registration information and election materials in both English and Spanish, including language assistance at election offices and polling places, voter materials which must be translated, printed, and purchased, including but not limited to voter registration applications, ballots, voting instructions, Voter’s Guides, polling place directional signs, procedures and information posted at polling places, legal notices, and website information.”
Corley also noted that his office continues to recruit bilingual individuals to work at polling places during the election cycle.
Published November 20, 2019