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Gabe Osterhout

Gabe Osterhout of the Idaho Policy Institute published an article in the Nov. 14 edition of The Conversation.

A county in Idaho offered Spanish-language ballots for the first time and here’s what happened” analyzed voter turnout in Lincoln County, Idaho, before and after the 2018 election to see if election language assistance affected voting behavior in the Latino community.

Due to Voting Rights Act protections for language minorities, Lincoln County was required to offer Spanish-language election materials after reaching a threshold of voters with limited English proficiency. This marked the first time an Idaho jurisdiction was required to offer Spanish-language ballots.

Ostehout’s research compared voter turnout in Lincoln to three neighboring counties of Minidoka, Jerome and Gooding. These counties, though demographically similar to Lincoln County, were not required to offer ballots in Spanish.