Mar 072011

Voting at a polling booth

Answer me this, if you can.

First, only citizens can vote, right?   Okay, so that’s a no-brainer question.  We all know the answer to that.  You have to be a citizen to vote.

Second, foreign immigrants have to pass an English language test to become a citizen, don’t they?

Yes, they do.  But don’t just take my word for it.  Here’s the US Citizenship and Immigration Services website that states, under eligibility requirements (to become a US citizen)

Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible for naturalization under section 316(a) of the INA, an applicant must:

  • Be 18 or older
  • Be a permanent resident (green card holder) for at least 5 years  immediately preceding the date of filing the Form N-400, Application for Naturalization
  • Have lived within the state, or USCIS district with jurisdiction over the applicant’s place of residence, for at least 3 months prior to the date of filing the application
  • Have continuous residence in the United States as a permanent resident for at least 5 years immediately preceding the date of the filing the application
  • Be physically present in the United States for at least 30 months out of the 5 years immediately preceding the date of filing the application
  • Reside continuously within the United States from the date of application for naturalization up to the time of naturalization
  • Be able to read, write, and speak English and have knowledge and an understanding of U.S. history and government (civics).
  • Be a person of good moral character, attached to the principles of the Constitution of the United States, and well disposed to the good order and happiness of the United States during  all relevant periods under the law

Lots of interesting stuff there.  You can only become a citizen if you’ve had a green card for at least five years (and illegal aliens don’t have green cards), you’ve got to be able to read, write and speak English, you’ve got to be of good moral character, and you’ve got to be ‘well disposed to the good order and happiness of the United States’.

So, in that case, and here’s the question – why do we need to provide voting materials in any language other than English?  See this newspaper article where the US Department of Justice is attempting to force Lorain County, OH, to provide five times more translators at polling stations than they already provide.

Oh – wait.  They already provide translators?  But apparently not enough for Eric Holder and the DoJ – even though there’s no clear indication that the present number of translators is insufficient.

Here’s an idea.  Fire the present translators.  Get rid of the bilingual signs.  If you want to vote in our country, do so in our language.  Surely that’s not only in line with the citizenship requirement to read and write English, but also the requirement to we well disposed to the good order and happiness of the US.

 Leave a Reply

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>