The community Tuesday night rallied around a Vietnamese American city councilperson accused of being “un-American” after calling for ballots in Vietnamese and Spanish.
Morrow, GA Councilwoman Dorothy Dean attacked fellow Councilwoman Van Tran on July 12 after Tran proposed the city issue multi-lingual ballots.
“You have failed in your oath of office. You have failed as a citizen of this country,” Dean said. “I would like to say that is un-American and inexcusable.”
On Tuesday, dozens showed up to voice their support for Tran.
“I don’t understand what is un-American about voting and being able to understand what you’re checking off,” said one voter.
“The comments made by esteemed Councilwoman Dean directed at Councilwoman Tran were very disturbing and displayed an alarming disregard for the language assistance provisions of the Voting Rights Act, said Victoria Huynh of the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund to NBC News.
According to the Clayton Crescent, Morrow has one of the largest Vietnamese communities outside of California. 30% of Morrow’s population is Vietnamese and 20% is Hispanic.
There is no word yet on whether the city will provide the multilingual ballots. Clayton County Registrar Manager Scott Brown says he will consult with county attorneys and the elections department. Brown says if he does he would send out three separate ballots to every voter-one in English and the other two in Vietnamese and Spanish.
Federal law requires bilingual ballots for any community comprising more than 5% of the population.
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