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Ohio SOS opponents debate Spanish-language ballots

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October 8, 2010

By Kyle Maichle

COLUMBUS, Ohio: Candidates for Ohio Secretary of State came to a disagreement on whether election ballots should be printed in other languages during a October 5, 2010 debate[1].

The argument came after candidates were asked on the issue of multilingual ballots. Maryellen O'Shaughnessy, the Democrat candidate argued strongly for multilingual ballots. O'Shuaneggssy said: "as Ohio grows and changes, we need to make sure that we've got informed voters. So I'm going to make sure that we've got information in a variety of languages for citizens who are going to be voting."[1]

Despite Republican candidate Jon Husted said he would comply any federal requirements calling for multilingual ballots, he raised concerns that local elections officials do not have the money to comply with the requirement. Husted said: "the idea of doing multilingual ballots in all 88 counties would be very costly for cash-strapped county boards of election who are having a hard time making ends meet as it is."[1]

Libertarian candidate Charles Earl took offense to the rhetoric between the Republican and Democrat candidates on multi-lingual ballots during the debate. Earl said: "our political contests have come down to nitpicking and sniping and back and forth, and I'm sick and tired of it." Earl also said that if multi-lingual ballots are fully implemented, it may put a strain on elections officials to print ballots in an infinite number of languages[1].

The October 5, 2010, debate was the only debate of the election cycle between the candidates for Secretary of State[1].

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