Ballots in Spanish Jan12

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Ballots in Spanish

The Georgia Association of Latino Elected Officials has asked Gwinnett and Hall counties to provide Spanish-language ballots.  They are claiming that without having ballots in Spanish, many Puerto Ricans, who are American citizens, will not be able to vote.  The counties have asked the Secretary of State and the Attorney General to consider the issue.

When more than 8 million Germans came into the US in the 1800’s none of them demanded German ballots.  When Italians came to the US in the early 1900’s they did not demand Italian ballots.  The Jewish Americans did not demand ballots in Hebrew.  All of these people learned English.  So why can’t these Spanish speakers learn the language?

We think having ballots in any language other than English is a bad idea. Some reasons that come to mind:

  • English is the official language of Georgia (as passed by the Georgia General Assembly in 1996) and all business with the county, state and nation should be conducted in English.
  • Aliens arriving in this country should assimilate and learn English as a primary language.
  • In Puerto Rico, ballots can be in Spanish. If a Puerto Rican wants to live in any state other than Puerto Rico he needs to learn English.
  • Alien parents should be partially or totally responsible for the tutelage of English to their children. Taxpayer dollars are now being spend to teach dozens of languages in Gwinnett.  The Gwinnett School System approved an additional $1.5 million at the end of 2015 to pay for more interpreters.
  • Making ballots in other languages is an unfunded mandate on local governments.
  • Why just Spanish? What about Korean Americans? Or Chinese Americans? The only way to keep this from getting completely out of hand is to have them learn English.
  • Ballots in different languages may not say the same thing. How can we know that someone who doesn’t speak English could read a translated version of a public referendum or proposed constitutional amendment and understand it correctly, especially when he can’t read any of the referenced laws?
  • Someone who doesn’t speak English will have great difficulty getting both sides of any issue since his source for news on candidates and ballot measures is coming from a limited number of sources.
  • Someone who doesn’t speak English will have to vote for candidates without ever understanding the verbal and written promises the candidate is making or understanding what the candidate says on any issue. How will that be a Representative Government?

What do you think?  Leave your comments down below.