I went to vote this morning, at a new polling place. I was directed to the polling place by a sign that was in both Spanish and English. When I was handed the ballot, I saw that it, too, was in both Spanish and English, with both languages appearing together in a confusing jumble.
Why are there bilingual ballots? Why isn't a knowledge of English a requirement for voting? And how can we ever possibly hope to assimilate millions of Spanish-speakers if we don't require them to learn English in order to participate in civic life?
Thomas Piatak is a contributing editor to Chronicles: A Magazine of American Culture. He writes from Cleveland, Ohio.