Judge OKs agreement in voting lawsuit

Posted: Sunday, February 21, 2010

JUNEAU - A federal judge has approved a settlement agreement under which the state will provide language assistance for Yupik-speaking voters in the Bethel area.

The settlement stems from a 2007 lawsuit filed on behalf of four Alaska Natives. The lawsuit alleged the state violated the federal voting rights act by not providing bilingual assistance with voting materials. It said the residents, who primarily speak Yupik, were unable to meaningfully participate in elections because of their limited English proficiency.

Under the agreement, the state would, among other things, train bilingual poll workers and have election materials translated to Yupik.

U.S. District Judge Timothy Burgess signed the agreement this week.

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