I don't want to sound like one of those redneck racists that goes on a rant. But, I found this all so bizarre.

I go to vote yesterday. And, I see they have forms in four different languages. There's Tagalog, Vietnamese, Spanish, and I forget the other. Oh, and there was also English.

I finished voting and was handed a little, oval blue sticker that said "Toi Da Bau." I asked what that meant, and the 80-year-old working there said "It means you voted." He then realized it was written in Vietnamese, and offered to give me the "I Voted" in English. I laughed, and just kept the one he had given me. It's just so bizarre and random.

I told my girlfriend at dinner, and she said "Well, there are probably people that can speak English well enough, but are more comfortable reading and voting, in their own language."

That's fine, but guess what? Do we really need to waste money printing stuff up in every language? And besides, why not German? Or Russian? Sure, Spanish is an obvious choice, since we're so close. But, my logic is, if you are in this country and you can't read or speak the language, well...that's fine. But you shouldn't expect everyone else to accomodate that. And, if that makes me sound like one of those Republicans that annoy me, I'm sorry.

Now, that night I ate at Jimmy Carter's Mexican Restaurant off of Washington. A weird name for a Mexican restaurant, unless it was in Washington, D.C.

I was going to catch the band Grand Ole Party afterwards, at M-Theory Music. I walked to the bathrooms, and wasn't sure if I should walk in the first door. It had a word that I wasn't familiar with. I glanced at the other door, and it said something like "Damas," which sounded enough like "dame" for me to deduce that I should enter the first door.

Now, as annoying as those few seconds were, at least it made more sense. I was in a Mexican restaurant. The perfect place for things written in Spanish.

Comments

Anonymous Feb. 6, 2008 @ 4:14 p.m.

You would prefer that people who do not speak fluent English not be able to vote?

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Anonymous Feb. 6, 2008 @ 5:10 p.m.

Voting is the right of a citizen. The vote is a serious responsibility and it should be cast without full knowledge of the issues being set forth for vote. Naturally most information is written and spoken in English in our society. The right or citizenship and right to vote should be earned by learning English, since that is the language of our nation.

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skylounger Feb. 7, 2008 @ 12:39 p.m.

I agree that voting is serious since it carries long-lasting consequences. It is not unreasonable to require that if you want to participate in US politics you should be able to speak the official language: English.

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Josh Board Feb. 7, 2008 @ 10:24 p.m.

I agree with sdblogger. Uh, not that sdblogger, the other one. I think, in this country, I shouldn't have to listen to a DMV message in Spanish telling me if I want Espanol, to press 3. I have no problem if the DMV hires bilingual people, so it's easier when people that aren't comfortable with English come in. Fine. But don't make my phone call longer, because you need to do something for DRIVERS of automobiles, in THIS COUNTRY, that do not know English. You know, you aren't allowed to wear headphones while you drive, because you won't hear sirens or other things. Well, if you can't speak ENGLISH, or don't know how to read it, you won't be able to read a sign that tells you "road construction ahead -- detour". So, why should you be given this courtesy in a voting booth? Or, should we just make DETOUR signs in 8 different languages?

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