Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Boston Bureaucratic Ballot Boondogle


Mitt Romney could be read as Sticky or Uncooked Rice, Fred Thompson as Virtue Soup, and Tom Menino? Rainbow farmer -- or worse.

That's one translation of their names into Chinese, according to Secretary of State William F. Galvin, and if the US Justice Department's voting rights division has its way, that is how they could appear on many Boston ballots in 2008.

Under a 2005 agreement, which Galvin is now challenging in court, the federal government required Boston to translate election ballots -- including the candidates' names -- into Chinese characters in precincts with prominent Chinese-speaking populations.