Non-English ballots spark outrage

Nov. 8, 2006 at 12:51 PM
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BOSTON, Nov. 8 (UPI) -- Some voters who received bilingual ballots in Spanish, Chinese and Vietnamese when Boston-area polling places ran out of English-only ballots were upset.

When handed a paper ballot with Vietnamese written on it Tuesday, a disgruntled voter at Florian Hall in Dorchester simply crumpled the sheet and tossed it on the floor, the Boston Herald reported. "I am an American," the man said.

Lines of potential voters waited until after the scheduled 8 p.m. time for polls to close for English-only ballots to arrive from the city's Elections Department by police car, with sirens wailing and lights flashing.

"Rush-hour traffic coupled with a high voter turnout after work forced us to use police cruisers to get the ballot to the polling locations," a spokeswoman for Boston Mayor Thomas Menino said.

Fewer than 25 polling places reported delays after running out of English-only ballots and voters left their telephone numbers so they could be called when new ballots arrived.

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