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Judge orders 32 Florida counties to provide sample ballots in Spanish

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Voters cast their ballots at the Miami-Dade County Palm Springs North Fire Station, during the Florida primary election, Tuesday, Aug. 28, 2018, in Miami. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

A federal judge is ordering 32 Florida counties to provide sample ballots in Spanish that Puerto Rican voters can use to cast votes on English ballots. 

Federal Judge Mark Walker issued his order Friday in an often sarcastic and scolding tone, saying English-only ballots are a detriment to Puerto Ricans who don’t speak English well. 

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 Nov. 6 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.

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