BO Admin Orders Bilingual Ballots in 25 States Before 2012?
In the run-up to the 2012 elections,the federal government is ordering that 248 counties and other political jurisdictions provide bilingual ballots to Hispanics and other minorities who speak little or no English. (Note:We recently noted,those who fall into this category are often illegal immigrants. See this article for more details. —Ed.)
That number is down from a decade ago following the 2000 census,which covered 296 counties in 30 states. In all,more than 1 in 18 jurisdictions must now provide foreign-language assistance in pre-election publicity,voter registration,early voting and absentee applications as well as Election Day balloting.
The latest requirements,mandated under the Voting Rights Act,partly reflect second and third generations of racial and ethnic minorities who are now reporting higher levels of proficiency in English than their parents. Still,analysts cite a greater potential for resistance from localities that face tighter budgets,new laws requiring voter IDs at polls and increased anti-immigration sentiment.
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