A California Reader Confronts A Multilingual Challenge At His Polling Place


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06/10/06 – Saturday`s Letters:
Arizona Chairman, Proposition 200, Says Internet
Impacting GOP, Immigration Debate; etc.

From: 
Eric Kessler

When I arrived at my polling place for the June 6th
election, the first worker that I interacted with could
barely

speak English

He was a Vietnamese, apparently there for the benefit of

non-English speaking
Vietnamese voters.  I told him
my name but when he had trouble understanding it, I
showed him my registration letter. 

Despite the fact that the letter was written in

five languages
(English, Spanish, Filipino,
Vietnamese, and Chinese), he still had trouble finding
my name.

Another poll worker pointed to the letter and asked him,
"Okay, now what`s his first name?" 

The Vietnamese said, "His first name is Bumoto." 
"Bumoto" is the Filipino word for "vote";
it was sandwiched in between the Spanish word for "vote"
and the Vietnamese word for "vote"

The other poll worker said: "No, that`s not his first
name
."  The Vietnamese seemed challenged mentally as
well as linguistically. 

It took him quite some time to find me in the voter
registration book, even when the book was finally opened
to the correct page.

Even countries that are officially

bilingual
or

multilingual
have more competent poll workers than
we do in

California
.

VDARE.COM note:

Read Kessler`s previous letters
about the Mexican military on the border, irritating
telemarketing calls in Spanish, and “Christophobia


here
,


here

and


here
.