Bilingual ballots greet Salt Lake County voters

Bilingual ballots greet Salt Lake County voters

SALT LAKE CITY Utah (ABC 4 News) - Voters in Salt Lake County now have the option to do their voting in English or Spanish.
SALT LAKE CITY Utah (ABC 4 News) – It’s at McDonalds, Walmart, Home Depot and Tuesday, so why not the ballot booth.

For the first time in Utah voting history, bilingual ballots are available in Salt Lake County.

“Federal law requires that if there's 18 percent, which is the magic number then they have to have the ballots in Spanish,” says Tony Yapias with Utah’s Proyecto Latino.

And Latino's in the 2010 census in Salt Lake County made up more than 18% of the county’s total population.

Albert Rodriguez noticed that when he voted Tuesday.

“That's great because a lot of people can't read English and that's great they can come in here and vote," he says.

Rodriguez chose to use the English written ballot.

For Columbian born Johanna Bernal, it was her first time voting in the U.S. Bernal became a citizen in August.

“I’m glad to vote today because it’s so important for me and my daughter,” she says.

Bernal says she speaks enough English to read and understand most of the ballot.

“But some of those things are hard to understand,” she says.
She voted in English because no one told her about the Spanish option.

“This morning when I go to the school the lady she never told me (about the Spanish option).”

Bernal says someone at the polling place helped her with the ballot.

Not everyone liked what they saw inside the voting booth.

“This is the United States of America,” says Daniel Blair who also voted Tuesday. “It should be in English only. I fought for America and served in the military and we should all speak English here."

Even though there may be some resentment, federal law makes it the wave of the future.

Tony Yapias says in 2016 Weber County may become the second county in Utah to have bilingual ballots.
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