Abolish bilingual ballots in California elections

The Editor

The San Jose Mercury News


To the Editor:

The reduction of the use of bilingual ballots in California as recently reported in the front page article, "Reductions looming for bilingual ballots" (Mercury News, April 12) is a small step in the right direction. The use of bilingual ballots in California should be ended immediately. If American citizens cannot be bothered to learn enough elementary English to be able to cast a ballot written in English then they should stay home and forgo the privilege. I have no idea how immigrants coming to settle, live, study and work in America can pass our citizenship tests without being minimally proficient in English. Native-born Americans have no excuse for failing to learn English other than sheer laziness and arrogance.

Several months ago I received a flyer from the East Bay Municipal Water District (EBMUD) that had information printed in over a dozen foreign languages. This is truly absurd. Talk about wasting your tax dollars. The country of Australia, which has experienced high levels of foreign immigration since the end of World War II, now prints their official documents in five other languages besides English. This is stupid. If immigrants can't be bothered to learn the language of their new country, then perhaps they should just stay home in their native lands where they can happily speak, read and write in their native tongue.


Yours truly,


James K. Sayre


12 April 2004