Congressman Pushes For English Only Ballots

Colorado Representative Mike Coffman wants to pass a law that would undo what he calls an "unfunded federal mandate" that requires local governments to spend upwards of 350,000 on dual language ballots.

"This is a costly unfunded mandate," Rep. Coffman said. "When a county falls under this requirement, its not just those who request the ballot it's every ballot has to be dual language."

The provision is part of the Voting Rights Act of 1973 that assures that all citizens can vote whether they are proficient in English or not. Coffman believes this is too costly for cash strapped communities.

"I'm not against dual language ballots, I just think the decision shouldn't be made out of Washington DC it ought to be made in the local communities."

Coffman is getting plenty of pushback from immigration advocates who say this is an attempt to disenfranchise eligible minority voters.

"What's incredible about this argument is that it assumes that decisions are being made out of the Obama administration -that is not true," the President of Latino Justice, Juan Cartageña, said.

"The decision to whether or not to provide bilingual ballots is a function of demography and the changing census numbers," he said.  "If more Hispanic or Native American citizens are present in a part of a country and need assistance they will get it. It is simple demography."

For more on the debate watch the video above.

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