“Texas fails to comply with language access provisions of the Voting Rights Act”

Release:

Today, a coalition of 10 groups sent a letter to Carlos Casco, Secretary of State of Texas, requesting that his office take immediate steps to comply with the federal Voting Rights Act of 1985 (VRA) and the Texas Elections Code.

Evidence currently shows that the State is failing to provide critical materials for potential Volunteer Deputy Registrars (VDRs) in Spanish and is not uniformly distributing Spanish language materials in all counties across Texas.

Under the Texas Elections Code, it is a crime to handle a completed voter registration form in any Texas county without being appointed as a VDR for that particular county. The failure to provide Spanish language materials identical to the English language materials, or to ensure all Texas Counties make the Spanish language materials available,, for potential VDRs excludes Spanish-speaking Texans from equal participation in the electoral process and can lead to depressed voter turnout in predominantly Latino voter communities.

The letter calls for the Secretary of State to, among other things, translate and distribute all VDR training materials into Spanish, ensure that all Texas counties create reasonable ways for potential VDRs to complete the required training in any minority language covered in that county by the VRA, and require full compliance with any minority language requirements stipulated by the VRA in all Texas counties.

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