NJDSC Wins Appeal Seeking Bilingual Ballots at the Polls
TRENTON, N.J. — The New Jersey Democratic State Committee successfully argued in court that ballots should be printed in both English and Spanish in districts where Spanish is the primary language of 10% of registered voters. In an opinion published by the Appellate Division on Monday morning, the panel of judges agreed with NJDSC that since sample ballots in these districts are required to be printed in both languages, then the official ballot at polling locations should also be bilingual.
“Today’s ruling is a tremendous victory for the Hispanic and Latino communities that will ensure Spanish speaking voters can fairly participate in the Democratic process on Election Day,” said NJDSC Latino Caucus Chairwoman Arlene Quiñones Perez. “Not having these bilingual ballots readily available was an injustice that threatened the outcome of elections. This is a great victory for our state, our party, and the Latino community.”
The lawsuit stems from the June 2018 primary after the Dover municipal clerk refused a request made by Edward Correa,the Dover Democratic Committee Chairman, to provide voters with official ballots in Spanish. Correa was a plaintiff in the case. The NJDSC was represented in the case by Rajiv D. Parikh and Matthew I. W. Baker of Genova Burns LLC.
“I am very pleased with the Appellate Panel’s decision in this matter,” said Edward Correa. “However, I want to be very clear that this decision is not just a victory for the civil rights of Hispanic voters in Dover and Morris County; rather, it is a victory for democracy and the principles that make us, as a nation of immigrants, a beacon of light, respect, and freedom in the world.”
“Equal access to voting is a cornerstone of our democracy and the Appellate Division’s decision re-affirms my belief in our judicial system to uphold the values of our state and our nation,” said Morris County Democratic Committee Chairman Chip Robinson. “When local government makes politically motivated decisions that infringe upon civil rights, it is imperative that our independent courts step-in to ensure that our rights are protected.”