The Spectacle Blog

Re: Bilingual Ballots: No, Non, Nyet!

By on 7.12.06 | 12:53PM

Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) is pushing an amendment that would strip that provision from the bill. He too cites the argument that a language unifies a country, and Mr. Hogberg's right/privilege distinction is well-taken. There are other considerations too. Competency in English is a requirement of citizenship, which is a requisite for voting. Thus, as George Will pointed out, bilingual ballots not only render this provision pointless but are in direct conflict with existing law. Finally, there is the insulting practice of "surname analysis" (see Jan Tyler's testimony) which allows a district to predict how many bilingual ballots and translators it may need by measuring, for example, how many Martinez's live in a particular voting district. If liberals despise so-called racial profiling when it comes to combating terrorism, why would they give this practice a free pass?

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