UNDATED (WSAU) The federal government has ordered the city of Milwaukee to print ballots in Spanish starting in February. The U-S Census Bureau also ordered the city to publish voting information in Spanish, due to the growing number of Milwaukeeans who predominantly speak that language.
Other cities and counties have received similar orders – but Milwaukee is the first in Wisconsin to be affected under the national Voting Rights Act. It requires language assistance when a group with limited proficiency in English exceeds either 10,000 residents or 5-percent of the population – and the percentage of that group not completing fifth grade exceeds the national norm.
Catherine McCully of the Census Bureau says Milwaukee has previously come close to being required to offer ballots and voting information in Spanish. Reid Magney of the state Government Accountability Board says the order affects all of Milwaukee. It’s not clear if each polling place will need an inspector who’s fluent in Spanish. Hispanics now make up 17-percent of Milwaukee’s population.