Desiline Victor, the 102-year-old North Miami voter who became a symbol of Florida’s elections woes, could again find it tough to cast a ballot now that the Republican-controlled state Senate voted Tuesday to keep a crack down on foreign-language interpreters at the polls. The Senate maintained the last-minute measure on what appeared to be a party-line voice vote while debating a bill designed to reverse the effects of an election law that helped create long lines and suppress the vote in 2012. On Election Day at Victor’s polling station, there weren’t enough interpreters for the Creole-speaking native of Haiti and hundreds like her. Turnout was heavy. And lines lasted for hours — partly due to a slew of proposed state Constitutional amendments placed on the ballot by the Florida Legislature.
“My mom is a victim of this problem, if they’re going to change something it should be to make voting easier. Just make it easy,” said Victor’s godson, Mathieu Pierre-Louis, whom she raised as her own child.
Victor, who couldn’t be reached, voted after an hours-long wait. Her struggle earned her an invitation and a shoutout from President Obama at his State of the Union address.
Now, months later, Republicans began a whisper campaign to complain that they suspected the interpreters were helping cast ballots on Election Day in Democrat-heavy North Miami.