Two Latino advocacy groups sent letters last week to Gwinnett County and several cities therein, alleging varying levels of noncompliance with a new mandate to provide Spanish-language voting materials to their constituents — and threatening litigation if they don’t change things quickly. Leaders from the Georgia Association of Latino Elected Officials and New York-based LatinoJustice believe the county and multiple cities are not yet fully in line with the requirements of a U.S. Census Bureau designation handed down in December. They cited government websites that provided plenty of election information in English but little or no such information in Spanish.
But responses this week from the called-out municipalities, most of which will hold elections this fall, ranged from “we’re working on it” to “actually, we’re already up to snuff.”
Lawrenceville City Manager Chuck Warbington called the undertaking an “unfunded mandate,” but said Gwinnett’s county seat is in the process of translating necessary materials and “will be updating the election pages to reflect bilingual information within the week.”