A good example has just come to us from Boston of why people did not trust Washington on its recent promises to enforce a new and improved immigration law and assimilate immigrants into the American family. USA Today reports that Massachusetts officials are suing the federal government in court to stop the U.S. Justice Department from forcing the state to publish the 2008 election ballot in both English and Chinese in certain polling areas.

According to USA Today, this bilingual ballot is the result of a settlement reached between the state and the federal government back in 2005 when DOJ accused Boston poll workers of mismarking the ballots of Asian voters who didnt speak English. Did I miss something? I thought you had to be an American citizen to vote. And I thought that to become an American you had to be able to read, write and speak English.

Americans are OK with walking into the local ethnic restaurant and navigating a bilingual menu; thats a cultural experience. But walking into a voting booth and navigating a bilingual (and someday, inevitably, multilingual) ballot threatens something that is truly an American experience. The phrase e pluribus unum captures it, and the way we vote is one of its most important symbols and expressions.