KETR

Titus County to Make Voter Website Bilingual Following ACLU Letter

Sep 26, 2018

The ACLU of Texas sent a letter to 36 counties Monday requesting those counties update election and voting information including how to register with Spanish language instructions.

Titus County in Northeast Texas was one of the counties to receive the letter.

“The reason that we wrote to Titus County,” says Matthew McCarthy, a legal consultant at the ACLU of Texas, “is that we noticed that it has information on its website that is in English but not in Spanish, so for example it has information about polling locations and information about voter ID that it only provided in English.”

The letter asks the counties to comply with The federal Language Minority Provisions of the Voting Rights Act, which dictate that counties with at least 5 percent Hispanic population must offer bilingual materials. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, as of 2017, more than 40 percent of Titus County identifies as Hispanic.

With a Hispanic population above 40 percent, according to 2017 U.S. Census data, Titus County has long provided sample ballots in English and Spanish.

Krissy Lytle, the elections administrator in Titus County, says the need for Spanish on the county elections website was news to her, but that Titus will “absolutely” rectify it as soon as possible.

“We’ll get on it and get it translated,” Lytle says.

The county will tell its IT provider to update the website as soon as possible. Lytle expects an update to happen fairly quickly.