By Meera Kymal/India Currents
When the city of Hamtramck in Michigan goes to the polls on August 3, Bangladeshi-American Rahima Begum will cast her vote for the first time in Bengali.
Rahima, 47, who lives in Hamtramck with her husband and two daughters is a limited English speaker like many in her Bangladeshi community. For years she struggled to understand the English-only election information that Hamtramck provided and relied on her daughters to translate the ballots when casting her vote.
“It shouldn’t have to take a complaint to ensure people comply with a law that they have been subject to since 2011,” said Susana Lorenzo-Giguere, Senior Staff Attorney at AALDEF. But with the new decree in place, Rahima and other Bangladeshi voters in Hamtramck will now have access to translated ballots and Bengali-speaking poll workers in the upcoming primary elections.