Eagle Forum

Eagle Forum Alert
June 19, 2006

UPDATE! The House of Representatives has delayed consideration of the Voting Rights Act. Your calls worked! Please continue to call your representatives and Senators and let them know you oppose renewing the foreign language ballot provisions in the VRA!
Stop Foreign Language Ballots
Tell Republican Leadership to allow the King Amendment!

This week, the House of Representatives will vote on H.R.9 reauthorizing the Voting Rights Act (VRA). Within this legislation is a provision, originally added in 1975 (ten years after passage of the original VRA in 1965), which mandates the use of foreign language ballots in U.S. elections. Rep. Steve King (R-IA) has offered an amendment repealing this dangerous provision, but we have learned that House Republican leadership refuses to allow a vote on his amendment.

Foreign language ballots don't make civic sense. You can't vote unless you are a citizen (at least you are not supposed to). To become a naturalized American citizen, our law requires that you demonstrate "an understanding of the English language, including an ability to read, write and speak . . . simple words and phrases . . . in ordinary usage in the English language."

Foreign language ballots are costly to both taxpayers and local municipalities. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) reported that Los Angeles County taxpayers spent $1.1 million to provide ballots and election materials in five languages in 1996, escalating to $3.3 million in seven languages in March 2002. In several counties, the cost of foreign-language ballots is more than half the entire election expense

In light of the Senate recently passing a bill granting amnesty to 12 million illegal aliens and importing up to 66 million new legal immigrants, America needs linguistic unity more than ever. Offering foreign language ballots while at the same time emphasizing the importance of learning English sends mixed signals to those seeking to assimilate into American society.

House Republican leadership needs to hear from you! A vote on the VRA will happen this week!

Take Action

  • Please call Majority Leader John Boehner, House Speaker Dennis Hastert, and Majority Whip Roy Blunt and let them know you support Rep. Steve King's foreign language ballot amendment! Tell them Rep. King's amendment should be allowed on the floor for a roll-call vote!

Capitol Switchboard: (202)-224-3121

Further reading: Amnesty

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