Some cities and states around the country are pushing to change existing laws to allow for more interpreters at polling places. Current law, in many areas, already allows voters who can’t read English to bring an interpreter to help them at the polls. If an on-site election judge speaks a voters language they can ask him or her for assistance as well. Yet some still insist that those measures are inadequate and that more needs to be done to help the rapidly growing number of voters (or potential voters) who can’t speak English.
Minneapolis, for example, provides its voter information materials in English, Spanish, Hmong and Somali. Should the goal really be to have interpreters for every language in the world everyplace Americans vote? Do other countries do this? If you or I moved to a non-English speaking country and were allowed to vote, would we automatically expect- and be provided with- an interpreter?
Why didn’t we do this in the past? Germans, Finns, Swedes, Norwegians, Chinese, etc., etc., all came here over the course of a hundred-plus years and were expected to earn their citizenship by becoming familiar with America and her customs. What about the Poles? We made fun of them and didn’t bother to print voter information materials in Polish or have Polish interpreters on hand where they voted. They were expected to learn the language.
And assimilate to a degree. Why did they come here? Remember the ‘melting pot?’
E Pluribus Unum. Out of many…one.
I’d vote for that.