Another Florida voting rights case heads to court Tuesday as advocacy groups ask a judge to tell the state to direct 32 counties to print voting materials in English and Spanish in the November election. The plaintiffs argue that Hurricane Maria forced Puerto Rican voters to evacuate to counties all over Florida, including many places where all ballots, signs and other materials are printed only in English. The lawsuit was filed by Mi Familia Vota Education Fund, Faith in Florida, Hispanic Federation, UnidosUS and Vamos4PR on behalf of a voter who’s registered in Gainesville, Marta Valentina Rivera Madera. The groups want election materials be printed in both languages in 32 counties, including Monroe, Pasco and Hernando.
A named defendant in the case is Secretary of State Ken Detzner, who’s Gov. Rick Scott’s chief elections official. Scott, a Republican candidate for U.S. Senate, has done extensive outreach with Puerto Rican evacuees and has repeatedly visited the island nation.
Scott, through his elections experts, now must take sides on whether bilingual materials must be required for a group of voters who lean Democratic.