House Members Urge Fight Against Multilingual Ballots

CNS News

Fifty-six members of the U.S. House on Friday urged House Judiciary Committee Chairman James Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.), to fight the renewal of a provision in the Voting Rights Act that mandates multilingual ballots.

‘We believe these ballot provisions encourage the linguistic division of our nation and contradict the ‘Melting Pot’ ideal that has made us the most successful multi-ethnic nation on earth,’ the 56 House members wrote. Only one of those signing the letter is a Democrat - Collin Peterson of Minnesota.

The letter refers to special provisions added to the Voting Rights Act (VRA) in 1975 that are set to expire in 2007. The original VRA was passed in 1965.

The multilingual ballot provision requires local jurisdictions to provide multi-language ballots when more than 5 percent of the voting-age population belongs to a language minority.

The letter to Sensenbrenner, circulated by Reps. Peter King of New York and Steve King of Iowa, both Republicans, argues that multilingual ballots ‘divide our country, increase the risk of voter error and fraud, and burden local taxpayers.’

Providing multi-lingual ballots costs taxpayers ‘millions of dollars’ each election, according to the letter. It states that in 1996, one county in California had to spend $30,000 on Spanish ballots when only one resident requested Spanish materials.

The letter also cites a November 2005 Los Angeles Times article that reported Los Angeles County had spent more than $2.1 million to provide interpreters and multi-language ballots for the 2004 election.

One Response to “House Members Urge Fight Against Multilingual Ballots”

  1. Contessa Says:

    Citizens are the only ones that are permitted to vote. Naturalized citizens must pass a rudimentary test of English and Civics in English. Now, I wonder why those that vote don’t understand enough English to do so in English? Could it be that there’s voter fraud? Could it be that illegal immigrants with fraudulent documents or fraudulently obtained documents are voting? Just a thought.

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