Language problems at elections in the U.S.A.

Raul Yzaguirre, President of the National Council of La Raza, testified to a U.S. Senate committee on language problems for minority-language speakers in the 2000 presidential election. Inter alia, he quotes a report on problems of Chinese speakers in New York City:

bq. Inaccurate translations. The Chinese translation for “Democrat” and “Republican” were reversed. Paper ballots requested by absentee voters also contained mistakes in the Chinese-language instructions.

bq. Lack of Chinese interpreters. At polling sites across the city, particularly those places with dense Asian populations, there were insufficient numbers of interpreters to serve Chinese-speaking voters.

bq. Chinese characters on the ballot too small to read. Obviously, the fundamental purpose of language translations is undermined when the characters are unreadable on the machine ballot.

(from Trevor, in followthebaldie, in Catalan)

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