Arizona GOP secretary of state candidate says ballots should only be printed in English
A candidate running to be Arizona’s next secretary of state said the state should stop offering ballots printed in other languages and provide them only in English.
The Arizona Republic reported Wednesday that Republican candidate Steve Gaynor made the proposal during a candidate forum over the weekend.
“My printing plant in L.A. printed an information pamphlet not too long ago. It had 18 languages on it,” said Gaynor, who owns a printing business that creates pamphlets for California elections, according to the Republic.
“I would be the first to say it should be … ballots, information pamphlets, all the material in our country, should be in English,” he said.
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Video of the event, including Gaynor’s comments, was posted on Facebook by the right-wing group Patriot Movement AZ.
The landmark Voting Rights Act requires that some districts provide election materials in other languages for minority language citizen groups.
The Republic reported that 10 of Arizona’s 15 countries are required to provide materials in languages other than English, and that about 900,000 Arizonans are eligible to receive such a ballot.
Secretaries of state, like those in the position for which Gaynor is running, oversee state elections.
Gaynor told the newspaper in a follow-up interview that he favors Native Americans in the state being allowed to vote in “their native language” because their land is sovereign.
He said that the counties should be able to decide if they want to print materials in Spanish.
“I think it should be up to the states to decide what they want to do with regard to their voting materials,” Gaynor told the Republic. “But I think the faster any immigrant learns English, the quicker they assimilate into American society.”
His campaign manager said Gaynor would comply with federal election law if he were elected as secretary of state, the newspaper reported.
Gaynor, who has described himself as “100 percent pro-Trump,” said during the candidate forum on Saturday that he wants lawmakers to repeal the election law.
“We need to do one thing to solve this problem, have 60 Republican senators who have the guts to vote the way they need to vote,” he said, according to the newspaper.