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Wayne County clerk questions Dearborn’s plans for Arabic ballots

Instructions for a Montana primary ballot are displayed on May 27, 2020.
Instructions for a Montana primary ballot are displayed on May 27, 2020.

Does Dearborn have the right to print ballots in Arabic as well as English?

The Wayne County Clerk has raised that question with the Michigan Secretary of State.

Last month, the Dearborn City Council passed a resolution. It requires the city clerk to print ballots in any language spoken by at least 10-thousand residents, in Dearborn, English and Arabic.

But Wayne County Clerk Cathy Garrett is questioning the city’s authority to do that.

She says Dearborn isn’t required to translate ballots by law, and questions whether such ballots would be counted.

The Secretary of State’s office says that no law prevents cities from offering ballot translations, either.

It says state election law also gives them that authority.