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New Jersey appeals court says 'official ballots' must be printed in English, Spanish

By Marian Johns | Apr 16, 2019

TRENTON — The Superior Court of New Jersey Appellate Division has sided with a 2018 New Jersey Ward 3 district committee candidate and the New Jersey Democratic State Committee in their argument that "official ballots" must be printed in English and Spanish in accordance with state's statues and election law. 

According to the April 11 court filing, the court addressed the plaintiff-appellant's, Edward Correa and intervenor-appellant's, New Jersey Democratic State Committee, claim against the defendants-respondents, Morris County clerk Ann Grossi, Morris County deputy clerk John Wojtazek, and Dover municipal clerk Tara Pettoni.  The plaintiffs challenged the use of the machine and mail-in ballots in New Jersey's Dover County and Morris County elections, which were not bilingual.


Correa, a 2018 "declared candidate" for the district committee seat, filed an order arguing that since Dover's sample ballots were required by state law to be in English and Spanish due to at least 10 percent of registered voters in the district speaking Spanish as their "primary" language, that the machine and mail-in ballots should also be bilingual. 

The court's opinion, written by Judge Susan Reisner, agreed the machine and mail-in ballots should be bilingual and that the purpose of the "legislature's policy" was to stop the disenfranchising of those voters who primarily speak Spanish. The court concluded "We reverse the order on appeal insofar as it denied plaintiffs' application for prospective relief, and we remand this matter to the trial court for the limited purpose of entering an order conforming to this opinion."

 

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