The American Civil Liberties Union of Texas sent letters to 16 counties flagging possible violations of the Voting Rights Act for their failure to provide accurate Spanish language information.
In total, the civil rights group discovered 69 counties in possible violation but only sent letters to the top-offending counties: Atascosa, Bailey, Brooks, Calhoun, Floyd, Hockley, La Salle, Lynn, Martin, Reeves, Tarrant, Terry, Titus, Upton, Webb and Zavala.
Some examples included confusing the word “party” with “fiesta” or “runoff” with “leak.” Other counties failed to provide critical information in Spanish, like key voting dates and voter registration information.
“Accurately translated materials are critical to protecting Texans’ right to vote,” said Edgar Saldivar, senior staff attorney for the ACLU of Texas in a statement. “We’re hoping that addressing the inaccuracies well in advance of the election will allow counties ample time to correct the misinformation. Counties need to do their part to protect the most fundamental right in our democracy.”
Under the Voting Rights Act, counties with more than 10,000 Spanish speakers or counties where Spanish speakers make up more than 5 percent of the voting population, must provide accurate information about elections in both English and Spanish.
Photo: SUZANNE CORDEIRO/AFP via Getty Images
Fernando covers Texas politics and government at the Texas Signal. Before joining the Signal, Fernando spent two years at the Houston Chronicle and previously interned at Houston’s NPR station News 88.7. He is a graduate of the University of Houston, Jack J. Valenti School of Communication, and enjoys reading, highlighting things, and arguing on social media. You can follow him on Twitter at @fernramirez93 or email at email@example.com