Press Releases

Settlement in Teamster-Supported Lawsuit Granting Greater Voting Access Approved

9.30.20blogphoto

31 Florida Counties Agree to Expand Offerings to Spanish-Speaking Voters

Press Contact: Ted Gotsch Phone: (703) 899-0869 Email: [email protected]

(WASHINGTON) – The Teamsters today are hailing the announcement of a settlement in a lawsuit with 31 Florida county supervisors of elections to help ensure Spanish-dominant voters educated in Puerto Rico can vote effectively.

The 10-year agreement entered into with the Florida counties is the result of the August 2018 lawsuit by civic engagement groups Faith in Florida, Hispanic Federation, Mi Familia Vota Education Fund, UnidosUS, and Vamos4PR, and individual Marta Rivera Madera, a Puerto Rican, Spanish-speaking voter living in Alachua County. The plaintiffs are represented by LatinoJustice PRLDEF, Demos, SEIU and Altshuler Berzon LLP with financial support from the Teamsters and several other unions.

“Democracy thrives in this country when all Americans can participate in it,” Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa said. “Our union is glad to have participated in this effort to expand the ability of U.S. residents to cast their votes at the ballot box and is pleased with the outcome.”

The lawsuit, brought on behalf of all Spanish-dominant, Puerto Rican voters residing in 32 Florida counties, alleged that the counties’ supervisors of elections held English-only elections that prevented Spanish-speaking voters from Puerto Rico from voting effectively, in violation of Section 4(e) of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. It is one of the largest suits ever brought under Section 4(e). 

Under the agreement, the 31 counties approving the settlement agree to provide greater access to Spanish language ballots, voting materials, vote-by-mail request forms and ballots. They also agree to translate their election supervisor websites into Spanish and offer a county-specific hotline to assist Spanish-speaking voters during voting periods.

Founded in 1903, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters represents 1.4 million hardworking men and women throughout the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. Visit www.teamster.org for more information. Follow us on Twitter @Teamsters and “like” us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/teamsters.