Detroit-area city will provide ballots in Bengali language

Next election is the Aug. 3 primary

The agreement says Hamtramck will translate ballots in Bengali, assign bilingual speakers as poll workers and form a Bengali language advisory group.
The agreement says Hamtramck will translate ballots in Bengali, assign bilingual speakers as poll workers and form a Bengali language advisory group.

HAMTRAMCK, Mich. – A small, diverse Detroit-area community has agreed to provide election ballots in the Bengali language.

A federal judge signed off on a settlement between Hamtramck and lawyers who represented a woman who speaks Bengali and has limited English skills, the Detroit Free Press reported.

“For many years I struggled to vote because I couldn’t understand the ballot and needed the help of my children to translate it," Rahima Begum said.

The Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund said it sued after Hamtramck failed to honor requests for voter assistance, which is required under federal law under certain circumstances, the Free Press reported.

The agreement says Hamtramck will translate ballots in Bengali, assign bilingual speakers as poll workers and form a Bengali language advisory group.

Hamtramck, known historically as a destination for Polish immigrants, has a significant number of residents from Bangladesh. The next election is the Aug. 3 primary.

Related: Civil rights advocates ask city of Dearborn for Arabic-language voting ballots