Voting Rights Groups Produce Spanish Language Voter Educational Materials for National Voter Registration Day

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 27, 2016

Contact: John Garcia, Director of Communications, 212-739-7513, 917-673-9095 or jgarcia@latinojustice.org

The downloadable and shareable social media graphics are available in Spanish here, and in English here.

In order to help millions of Spanish speaking voters and respond to the lack of online voting information in Spanish, a coalition of voting rights groups have produced a series of helpful Spanish-language graphics and educational materials for National Voter Registration Day and Election Day. The materials are available online.

LatinoJustice PRLDEF, the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law, Rock the Vote, and the Election Protection Coalition, led by Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, produced the Spanish and English language materials which provide basic voter registration deadline and voter ID information for voters in every state.

The groups are publishing the graphics in Spanish and English for National Voter Registration Day, in the hope that individuals and organizations will use the translated materials to educate and inform Latino voters so that their voices are heard on Election Day, November 8.

The downloadable online materials include instructive graphics designed to communicate in Spanish and English each state’s respective registration requirements and procedures, including new voter ID laws and registration deadlines. The downloadable and shareable social media graphics are available in Spanish here, and in English here.

In a recent survey, LatinoJustice PRLDEF found that 17 states, including Louisiana, actually fail to make online voting information available in Spanish. Over 25 million residents in the U.S. are limited-English proficient (LEP). Further, one third of all Latina/x/o adults in the U.S. are Spanish language-dominant or LEP, and over 40 percent are bilingual. Beyond those states and covered jurisdictions that are still required to provide language translation under Sections 4(e) and 203 of the Voting Rights Act (VRA), all states should consider translating their election information, registration and ballot materials--- local and nationally vetted translation procedures and practices for voter information and balloting can directly improve voter participation among LEP voters.

“Every eligible citizen has a right to vote, regardless of the language they speak,” said LatinoJustice Associate Counsel Joanna Cuevas Ingram. “It is important to ensure that people have equal access to essential voter registration and voting information in language that is easy to understand.”

“Some politicians in America are trying to make it harder for certain segments of the population to vote,” said Tomas Lopez, a counsel in the Brennan Center’s Democracy Program. “It’s key that voters know their own rights, and are armed with accurate and easy-to-understand information so they can make their voice heard on Election Day.”

“Millennials represent the largest, most diverse generation in history, and we are just beginning to grasp our power to not only speak truth to power through our activism, but to enact real change with our votes – especially in state and local government,” said Rock the Vote Vice President of Civic Engagement Jesse Moore. “Half of this year’s record number of Latino voters will be Millennials, which is why partnerships with LatinoJustice and the Brennan Center are so critical as we battle against new voter suppression laws threatening to silence the voices of Millennials, foreign born and young people of color.”

Language barriers continue to constrain democracy across the country as populations become more diverse and states enact increasingly restrictive voting laws.

“Through Election Protection, we have learned that voters are often confused by changing voting rules and lack access to critical voting information in their preferred language,” said Chris Melody Fields Figueredo, manager of Legal Mobilization at the Lawyers’ Committee. “In order to make sure we have an inclusive democracy we must ensure that voters are provided resources in their language of choice so they can navigate the electoral process.”

Through this collaborative effort, the voting rights groups seek to enhance access to an inclusive democracy by reducing language barriers to make voting more accessible. In this hotly-contested election year, it is imperative that every eligible, interested voter is able to register and cast a ballot.

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