10 NY counties told to accommodate bilingual voters

Aug 20, 2012

The New York Attorney General's office has sent letters to 10 upstate counties telling them to accommodate Spanish-speaking voters from Puerto Rico as required by federal law. WAMC's Dave Lucas reports

Letters sent this month by Civil Rights Bureau Chief Kristen Clarke to the counties' election commissioners note the Voting Rights Act requires jurisdictions with significant numbers of Puerto Rican residents with limited English to ensure they can vote.

Measures include making all voting materials and ballots available in Spanish and having Spanish-language interpreters available at polling places.

The letter notes that counties without effective plans could face civil liability. Several lacked Spanish translations on their websites.

The counties are Erie, Monroe, Rockland, Dutchess, Ulster, Chautauqua, Schenectady, Sullivan, Montgomery and Putnam.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.