The demand for bilingual ballots in Cuyahoga County, Ohio brought to mind to mind how the issue of voting by non - English speaking voters was handled many years ago. No, they were not told to go back where they came from, at least not publicly. Rather I recall a hobby I had as a child. Around election time , children would aggressively collect election cards. They were about the size of a credit card and were passed out by office seekers and their supporters. Importantly, each card had a symbol in the upper left corner , for Democrats, and the right corner for Republicans. Just kidding, the symbol as I recall was randomly placed on the card. What was so special about this symbol is that it denoted the political party the candidate was affiliated with. A star was used to indicate the Democrat Party and an eagle was used to indicate the Republican Party. Other parties had their own symbols which I can’t recall, but I’m sure there were a few hammer and sickle cards.
The beauty of these cards and symbols was that the candidate could remind every recipient to vote for the star or vote for the eagle. Once in a voting booth, the voter found a ballot printed in English. Can’t read English, no problem. Joe the Alderman told him to pull a lever everywhere he saw a star. In a matter of seconds the straight Democratic ticket was voted. To be politically correct, it was also possible to vote the eagle across the ballot.