ERIC Number: ED383180
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1995
Statement of United States Senator Alan Simpson during Debate on H.R. 4312, a Bill To Reauthorize the Use of Bilingual Ballots in the United States.
The statement of Senator Alan Simpson (Republican, Wyoming) is in opposition to the House of Representatives Bill to reauthorize use of bilingual ballots in United States elections. The principal argument offered is that use of bilingual ballots would promote divisiveness rather than inclusion or cohesion, by encouraging the growth of enclaves within the country where English is not the common language. Several prominent authors are cited as opposing the spread of bilingualism. It is suggested that providing bilingual ballots would: (1) not encourage the learning of English but would reduce pressure to learn it and give the impression that the government does not consider knowledge of English to be important; (2) support ethnic separateness; and (3) endanger consistency in communication. A number of legislators who have supported the learning of English among immigrants are cited. It is further argued that the government has little evidence to support continuing use of bilingual ballots, and that since their institution, the voting rate among Hispanics has actually declined in relation to that of white voters. Votes in California that reject bilingual ballots are also noted. Several questions concerning the effectiveness of bilingual ballots are posed as issues that must be investigated further. (MSE)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: English First Foundation, Springfield, VA.
Note: From the "Congressional Record," August 6, 1992.