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Make election ballots only in English, Arizona GOP candidate says, to spark debate

A voter casts her ballot in the Wisconsin primary election, Tuesday, Aug. 14, 2018.

(Telegraph Herald, via AP)

Election ballots should be printed (only in English, a Republican running to be Arizona’s next secretary of state, said last weekend in a comment that drew pushback from both sides of the aisle.

Candidate Steve Gaynor remarks came during a GOP candidate forum in Wickenburg last Saturday, the Arizona Republic reported.

“My printing company in L. A., to be printed in a newsletter not too long ago. There are 18 languages,” Gaynor, the owner of a print shop in southern California, said, according to the paper. “I would be the first to say it should be-ballots, information brochures, all of the material in our country-should be in English.”

“My printing company in L. A., to be printed in a newsletter not too long ago. It had 18 languages.”

– Steve Gaynor, the GOP candidate for Arizona Secretary of state

Many in the crowd booed, the report said.

Acting Secretary of state Michele Reagan, the gaynors opponent in the state of the GOP primary Aug. 28, accused Gaynor of “pandering” to the right-wing extremist groups, the reported Republic.

Another candidate for secretary of state, state Sen. Katie Hobbs, D-Phoenix, said Gaynor remarks were worrisome, the report said.

The crowd booed. A woman audibly gagged. https://t.co/whMc95GPpg

— azcentral (@azcentral) August 16, 2018

Maggie Acosta, lead canvasser for a progressive voter advocacy group, said the Republic, the Spanish-language materials were crucial in Arizona because many of the state’s voters who speak and read English still prefer to cast a ballot in their first language, to ensure that they cast their votes correctly.

“Most of the people are willing to (vote), yet you are afraid that you are going to make a mistake on something,” said Acosta. “You get discouraged and you’d rather not vote.”

The federal Voting Rights Act of 1965 requires that some counties provide election materials in other languages for the minority of citizens-groups that speak different languages, according to the report.

“Most of the people are willing to (vote), yet you are afraid that you are going to make a mistake on something. … Discourage you and you’d rather not vote.”

– Maggie Acosta, head canvasser

Based on U.S. Census data, demography, 10 Arizona’s 15 counties have reported voting materials in languages other than English, of the Republic. Around 900,000 Arizona voters ballot papers translated under the act, the report said, citing census data.

Gaynor said the counties should decide to be able to, if you want to, print materials in Spanish.

He added that the English would learn reports to help immigrants “assimilation in American society,” the Republic.

Click here for more from the Arizona Republic.

Amy Lieu is a news editor and a reporter for Fox News.

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