Rep. Steve King (R-IA) said on Thursday if Congress decides to amend the Voting Rights Act after the Supreme Court recently declared parts of it unconstitutional, there would be “no logical reason ballots should be in anything other than English,” according to MSNBC.
“The House GOP held their first hearing Thursday on how to handle the Voting Rights Act in the aftermath of the Supreme Court’s ruling striking down Section 4 of the law,” according to MSNBC. “Section 4 determines which parts of the country must submit in advance their election law changes to the Justice Department, a process called ‘preclearance.’ Republicans have criticized the Section 4 formula for being based on outdated information, even though when the Republican-held Congress in 2006 reauthorized the Voting Rights Act it looked at data showing that the jurisdictions affected by the formula were more likely to engage in discriminatory election practices.”
King said he wanted to see “improvement in the integrity of the individual ballot,” arguing, “I think if we bring up the Voting Rights Act and we have an opportunity then to open it up, I think multilingual ballots become a question. There’s no logical reason that ballots should be in anything other than English. If you take a citizenship test, that’s the English — you have to demonstrate proficiency in English,” according to Raw Story
In 1975, Congress added Section 203 of the Voting Rights Act because it found that “through the use of various practices and procedures, citizens of language minorities have been effectively excluded from participation in the electoral process,” Raw Story reported.
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King also suggested voter identification as a way of maintaining election integrity, calling it, “a reasonable device.”
“I wouldn’t know where to go look to find real voter intimidation and real discrimination,” King said. “So I think there is more damage that comes to our election system from lack of voter ID then might come from voter intimidation.”