IPI Research Associate Gabe Osterhout was quoted in the Voice of America article “This Election Day, Millions of Americans Won’t Be Voting in English”
“The idea was to take groups that were historically excluded from the electoral process, and the mission was to make it more accessible for some of those groups,” says Gabe Osterhout, a research associate at the Idaho Policy Institute at Boise State University. “If we’re trying to understand its impact on turnout, well, we don’t really know who’s doing what they’re supposed to be doing among the counties that are covered,” Osterhout says. “And then on the flip side, there’s counties that aren’t covered, or cities or townships that aren’t covered, but might choose to offer these materials anyway.” And even if huge numbers of people don’t end up taking advantage of the opportunity to vote in their primary language, the effort isn’t wasted, in Osterhout’s view. “Even if they don’t end up pursuing that right and don’t end up voting, there’s still value in recognizing that there’s a moral benefit to making voting more accessible,” he says.