Spanish Language Access and the Voting Rights Act – Aug 25

Posted by Ceiba on August 25, 2020

Ceiba Organizes Roundtable Discussion with Election Officials on Voting Rights of Spanish Speakers in PA

On Tuesday, August 25, 2020, at noon, Ceiba, All Voting Is Local, and the Lawyer’s Committee on Civil Rights Under Law, are convening a roundtable discussion, with election officials to talk about Section 203 of The Voting Rights Act. This federal law requires the counties of Berks, Lehigh, and Philadelphia to provide access to all their electoral processes and materials to Spanish speaking voters. The roundtable discussion will be streamed via Facebook Live:

The election officials that will participate in the roundtable discussion are:

  • Kevin Barnhardt, Berks County Commissioner
  • Diana Cortes, Chief, Civil Rights Division, Philadelphia City Solicitor’s Office
  • Erika Jufre, Lehigh County Operations Manager
  • Stephen Latanishen, Director, Office of Intergovernmental Affairs, Pennsylvania Department of State

Section 203 of The Voting Rights Act ( ensures that US citizens who rely heavily on languages other than English are informed voters and can participate effectively in elections. A jurisdiction is covered under Section 203 when more than 5% of its US citizens of voting age or more than 10,000 of its eligible voters are from a language minority group. The US Justice Department determined that the counties of Berks, Lehigh, and Philadelphia are covered by Section 203 for the Spanish language.

The Tuesday, August 25th, noon, roundtable seeks to:

  • Inform the community about their language access rights under federal law
  • Provide an opportunity for county officials to share how they are implementing Section 203 of the Voting Rights Act
  • Foster collaboration between community members and election officials across the three covered counties in preparation for the November 2020 election.


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