On December 5, 2016, the Director of the Census Bureau determined that Gwinnett County met the coverage formula under Section 203 of the Voting Rights Act, 52 U.S.C. § 10503, with respect to persons of Hispanic heritage. The coverage formula under Section 203 is based upon the number of voting age citizens of a single language minority with limited-English proficiency and the illiteracy rate of the citizens in the language minority. The purpose of Section 203’s requirements is to provide the voting age citizens in the language minority group who are limited-English proficiency the opportunity to participate fully and effectively in the covered jurisdiction’s registration and election process. To accomplish this objective, Section 203 of the Voting Rights Act requires a covered jurisdiction to provide bilingual voter registrations and elections in the language of the language minority population meeting the coverage formula as well as in English.
As the Director of the Census Bureau determined that Gwinnett County met Section 203’s coverage formula with respect to persons of Hispanic heritage, this means that Gwinnett County is now required by the Section 203 of the Voting Rights Act to provide for voter registrations and elections in both English and Spanish. In order to comply with the requirements of Section 203 of the Voting Rights Act and to provide effective language assistance to those voting age citizens of Hispanic heritage with limited-English proficiency, Gwinnett County has begun a comprehensive bilingual voter registrations and elections program. As part of this program, Gwinnett County voters will now be provided and/or offered registration and election information in both English and Spanish, including but not limited to registration applications, forms, instructions, signage, and ballots. Spanish language assistance will also be available at polling locations, satellite polling locations and the Office of the Gwinnett County Board of Voter Registrations and Elections.
To ensure that Gwinnett County’s bilingual voter registration and elections will meet the needs of those citizens of Hispanic heritage with limited-English proficiency to effectively and actively participate in the election process, Gwinnett County is actively seeking input. If you have a comment or suggestion with regard to helpful and effective language assistance and outreach programs, please click here.