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TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami/AP) – In order to accommodate the thousands of Puerto Ricans who moved to Florida after Hurricane Maria, a federal judge has ordered 32 counties in the state to provide sample ballots in Spanish.

Federal Judge Mark Walker issued his order Friday in an often sarcastic and scolding tone. The judge noted that the English-only ballots are a detriment to Puerto Ricans who don’t speak English well. He said sample ballots in Spanish would help voters cast votes on English ballots.

A coalition of groups that encourage civic engagement in Latino communities sued the Department of State and elections supervisors seeking to force them to provide bilingual or Spanish language ballots.

While Walker agreed with elections officials that it would be nearly impossible to change elections software and redesign ballots before the November 6th election, he ordered the counties to provide sample ballots in Spanish, as well as signs in Spanish at polling places notifying voters they are available.

(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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