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Latino advocacy organization files a lawsuit against Iowa election officials over 'English-only' law

Kassidy Arena
The Iowa League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) discussed voting access at their annual LULAC Day on the Hill in March. Some members argue the so-called "English-only" law limits voter turnout.

The Iowa chapter of the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) has filed a complaint in Polk County’s district court against Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate and the Iowa Voter Registration Commission. Several county auditors are also listed as respondents, although their predecessors were the ones involved in the case that defined the law.

LULAC is requesting the court dissolve its previous decision regarding the interpretation of the Iowa Language Reaffirmation Act, which requires all official state documentation be in English, including voter materials. The court case involving former Republican U.S. Rep. Steve King against then-Iowa Secretary of State Michael Mauro decided official documentation in any language other than English was prohibited.

The so-called "English-only" law made for a busy 2020 election for immigrant groups, which translated voter materials themselves and on an individual basis.

There are only two counties in the state - Buena Vista and Tama - that are legally permitted to translate voter materials because they meet certain demographic requirements.

Kassidy was a reporter based in Des Moines