A federal judge ordered 32 Florida counties to provide ballots in Spanish in 2020.

Chief U.S. District Judge Mark Walker issued a preliminary injunction that follows a similar ruling in September. In the earlier ruling, Walker required the 32 counties to provide Spanish-language sample ballots but did not require Spanish-language ballots and other assistance, saying there wasn’t enough time before the November 2018 elections. The ruling Friday goes further in requiring Spanish-language ballots



Judge Walker reportedly noted that Section 4(e) of the Voting Rights Act “prohibits English-only elections for those citizens — yes, citizens — educated in Puerto Rico in Spanish.” (emphasis in original) Therefore, he ordered that the 32 counties in question must provide voters with ballots in Spanish starting with Florida’s primary election scheduled for March 17, 2020.

“Compliance with this order is not optional,” Walker wrote. “While the vast majority of supervisors of election are upstanding professionals who follow the law and court orders, do difficult but necessary work under tight timelines, and are often subjects of multiple bouts of litigation, there may be some who selectively interpret parts of this court’s orders or otherwise avoid compliance. This court will not hesitate to use every tool the law provides to enforce this order.”