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National: New census data trigger federal requirements for bilingual voting ballots in 25 states | The Washington Post

In the run-up to the 2012 elections, the federal government is ordering that 248 counties and other political jurisdictions provide bilingual ballots to Hispanics and other minorities who speak little or no English. That number is down from a decade ago following the 2000 census, which covered 296 counties in 30 states. In all, more than 1 in 18 jurisdictions must now provide foreign-language assistance in pre-election publicity, voter registration, early voting and absentee applications as well as Election Day balloting.

The latest requirements, mandated under the Voting Rights Act, partly reflect second and third generations of racial and ethnic minorities who are now reporting higher levels of proficiency in English than their parents. Still, analysts cite a greater potential for resistance from localities that face tighter budgets, new laws requiring voter IDs at polls and increased anti-immigration sentiment.

Effective this week, Hispanics who don’t speak English proficiently will be entitled to Spanish-language election material in urban areas of political battleground states including Pennsylvania, Virginia, Wisconsin and Utah, as well as the entire states of California, Florida and Texas. For the first time, people from India will get election material in their native language, in voting precincts in Los Angeles, Chicago and New York, due to their fast population growth.

Full Article: New census data trigger federal requirements for bilingual voting ballots in 25 states - The Washington Post.

Voting Blogs: Children and Dead People Are NOT Voting in Utah | Utah Data Points

In a blog post Monday, my colleague Adam Brown analyzed the publicly available Utah voter file with the catchy headline, “Are children and dead people voting in Utah?”  Later in the day he posted a follow up with this headline: “Which counties have more registration errors?” Voting by dead people and children is not a problem in Utah.  These so-called “registration errors” are better termed anomalies.

The blog posts, the brief summary on the Tribune’s Political Cornflakes blog, and the hype on KSL radio missed a lot of nuance. For example, KSL had a story during its 8-9 am drive-time show on Tuesday morning that reported on the posts.  They introduced the story with this (at 31:09 in this mp3 file): “Our top local story this hour. This is something like you’d expect from Chicago.  Dead people staying on the voter registration rolls.”  Later on in the hour (at 46:33 in the mp3 file), KSL introduced Adam for a brief interview with this: “Well, there are either a whole bunch of long-living residents in Utah or some dead people are registered to vote…So, is this like Chicago?” Adam’s actual interview wasn’t quite as dramatic, but he referred to “incomplete record keeping,” his surprise at finding “several thousand people born in the 1800s registered to vote,” and how “carelessness” creates “opportunities for abuse.”

Full Article: Children and Dead People Are NOT Voting in Utah. | Utah Data Points.