Court Issues Additional Preliminary Relief Protecting Voting Rights of Spanish-Speaking Puerto Ricans in Florida

On May 10, 2019, the federal court for the Northern District of Florida issued a preliminary injunction under Section 4(e) of the Voting Rights Act requiring Florida’s Secretary of State to direct the Supervisors of Elections in 32 Florida counties to provide Spanish-language election assistance—including Spanish-language or bilingual official ballots, a Spanish-language hotline, and Spanish translations of all official, election materials—for elections beginning with Florida’s March 2020 presidential primary.

This order expands on the preliminary relief the Court previously granted in this case.  In granting broader relief, the Court explained:  “This case is about the fundamental right to cast an effective ballot.  Voters educated in Puerto Rico bring this suit to enforce the plain provisions of the Voting Rights Act’s Section 4(e).  This straightforward law has been on the books for 54 years. In this action, this Court is ensuring compliance with Congress’s clear directives.”

The name of the case is Marta Rivera Madera, et al., v. Laurel M. Lee, et al., Case No. 1:18-cv-152-MW/GRJ (N.D. Fla.).  Altshuler Berzon LLP, along with co-counsel from Demos, LatinoJustice, and SEIU, are representing Plaintiffs Marta Rivera Madera, Faith in Florida, Hispanic Federation, Mi Familia Vota, UnidosUS, and Vamos4PR in the case.

You can read the Court’s order here.

You can read more about the case here.