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Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The long, long learning curve in Arizona …

           Earlier this month, we posted here about how Maricopa County, Arizona had sent out Spanish-language instructions with its Voter ID cards that wrongly stated the election takes place on Nov. 8.  In fact, as the English-language instructions made clear, it’s Nov. 6.

            But hey, anybody can make one mistake.

            Except now the county has made the same mistake again, and once again it involves only material printed in Spanish. 

            According to The Huffington Post:

a bookmark distributed by the elections department … was passed along to HuffPost on Tuesday by minority advocacy group Campaign for Community Change.  It says, "Register today! Exercise your right to V-O-T-E!" and goes on to list important dates. 

            Once again, the English language bookmarks had the correct date, Nov. 6, while some of the Spanish language bookmarks said Nov. 8.  The story continues:

Yvonne Reed, spokesperson for the Maricopa County Department of Elections, told HuffPost that some of the Spanish-language notices were incorrect because the department used the election date from last year, but that they are no longer being distributed.


            While Maricopa County seems to be having an extremely difficult time getting materials out in Spanish to help people vote, a group in Maryland has had no trouble at all producing fliers warning noncitizens that it would be a crime for them to vote.  They warn of possible fines, jail time, and/or deportation – as if the one thing a noncitizen wants to do most is call attention to himself by voting illegally.

            The group is supporting a referendum to prevent implementation of Maryland’s DREAM Act, a law providing in-state tuition to the undocumented immigrant students.  The group  had no problem printing its flier in Spanish – and French, Chinese and Korean.

            Perhaps it’s all a matter of motivation.

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