June 20th, 2012
Why the ballot is in English and Spanish
I want to share some U.S./Puerto Rican history for all of those who are upset because the ballot and all election related information will be in English and Spanish.
The Jones-Shafroth Act of 1917 made Puerto Ricans United States citizens and, therefore, eligible for the military draft. As citizens of the U.S., Puerto Ricans have participated in every major military engagement since World War I.
Spanish and English are spoken on the island, but the predominant language is Spanish. The Voting Rights Act of 1965 Section 4(e) secures the voting rights of “persons educated in American-flag schools in which the predominant classroom language was other than English”. This Act was violated by the Orange County Board of Elections; therefore, the Department of Justice sued the County.
Now that the County and the Department of Justice have settled the lawsuit, all election related material, including the ballot, absentee applications and absentee ballots, will be in Spanish. Now Spanish-speaking voters in Orange County will have equal access to the ballot box.
Town of Blooming Grove