(Aspen, CO) On Wednesday, October 12th, the Census Bureau preliminarily released the list of jurisdictions covered by Voting Rights Act § 203, based on data from the 2010 Census. The list became official when it was published in the Federal Register yesterday. Covered jurisdictions are required to provide ballots and other election materials in English and the applicable covered language, among other things. A listing of all jurisdictions determined to be covered as a result of the 2010 Census is available at http://www.census.gov/rdo/data/voting_rights_determination_file.html, and I also attach a press release issued by Secretary of State Scott Gessler on October 12th.
The bottom line is that Pitkin County is not a covered jurisdiction. As a result, and among other things, Pitkin County will not be required to provide official, dual language ballots.
Moreover, before yesterday, eight Colorado counties were required to provide election materials in Spanish (Alamosa, Conejos, Costilla, Crowley, Denver, Otero, Rio Grande and Saguache Counties), and two were required to provide election materials or assistance in Navajo (La Plata and Montezuma Counties). As a result of yesterday’s determinations, there are now a total of three jurisdictions in Colorado covered by VRA § 203, all for Spanish: Costilla, Denver and Rio Grande counties.
VRA § 203 coverage will next be assessed in 2015, before the 2016 presidential election cycle. The 2015 assessments will be based on data obtained from the most recent American Community Survey (“ACS”), which is conducted annually by the Census Bureau.