The problems of a multilingual Philadelphia Election Day

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Philadelphia has had a sizable Spanish-speaking population since, at least, the 2000 census, and, while it’s growing, the city is getting more diverse in other ways.

A complication of that is certainly language obstacles and immigrant interaction with government. Philadelphia ballots have Spanish  translations of candidates, instructions and ballot questions, but not for other languages. So, other groups, like the Committee of Seventy, have to step in and help underserved residents get the chance to vote. Note this complaint from a voter at 953 N. 10th Street who called into Seventy earlier today, as recorded by a Seventy volunteer.

Voter was turned away from polling place in Chinatown and told to go to another polling place which he does not think has a Chinese language interpreter. Poll monitor calling this in said that two other voters have been turned away from the same polling place.

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