Commissioners in Canyon County, Idaho Set to Decide on ‘English-Only’ Rule Months After Midterm Election Controversy

Feb 22, 2019
1:16 PM

(Photo by Bill Wechter/AFP/Getty Images)

During last November’s midterm election day, the workers at Canyon County found themselves confused after they were instructed they couldn’t assist voters in Spanish, then told the opposite. A 2006 resolution bans county communication in any language other than English. Now, almost 6 years after county lawyers warned that the law was “constitutionally infirm,” KBOI-TV CBS 2 reports that commissioners are set to consider rescinding the resolution on Monday, February 25.

While a county spokesman said the resolution had nothing to do with election training, during election day, workers were instructed not to speak Spanish. Then, only a few days before Election Day, poll workers were instructed that they could speak in Spanish—only after Idaho Press broke a story on the issue.

County Commissioner Tom Dale was quoted as saying the resolution is “highly discriminatory and inappropriate for any county to have.”

According to Idaho Press, Canyon County has the largest Hispanic population in Idaho, with 33,000 residents speaking a language other than English in their homes.