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Published: Tuesday, 11/8/2011

U.S. monitoring use of bilingual ballots in NE Ohio county with growing Puerto Rican population


LORAIN, Ohio — U.S. Justice Department election observers are monitoring the election in a northeast Ohio county that made an agreement with the government to offer ballots in Spanish.

Lorain County, west of Cleveland, has a growing Puerto Rican population. The Plain Dealer reports the Justice Department observers want to see that the Voting Rights Act is being followed. It requires that ballots and election materials be supplied in other languages if those materials would be needed by a minority group making up more than 5 percent of the voting-age population.

Lorain County agreed to provide bilingual ballots county-wide and bilingual poll workers on a targeted precinct basis.

Bilingual ballots also are available in Cuyahoga (ky-uh-HOH'-guh) County, which includes Cleveland. It reached a similar agreement with the Justice Department last year.

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