By H. Nelson Goodson
Hispanic News Network U.S.A.
April 4, 2016
Milwaukee, WI - On Tuesday, the primary elections will take place in the City of Milwaukee, many Bilingual Election Inspectors (BEIs) assigned to areas or wards that have a large concentration of Spanish or Hmong speaking voters are expected to do non-bilingual duties as well compared to only English speaking Election Inspectors (EIs). BEIs will get paid the same as EIs rather than get an increase in pay for being bilingual, according to poll workers. The City of Milwaukee Election Commission training manual for Election Inspectors and poll workers does not provide information about an increase in pay for BEIs.
Since 2012, the City of Milwaukee Election Commission has not paid extra to fluent speaking BEIs for translating services, even when they are expected to keep polling sites running efficiently as EIs. When a BEI is helping a limited English proficiency voter, an EI will take up the duties of a BEI while providing a translation service.
The City of Milwaukee under Section 203, the federal Voting Rights Act must provide assistance to limited English proficiency voters and also provide Election Day materials in both English and Spanish and include fluent speaking BEIs at wards where translation services are needed.
The Milwaukee Police Department pays officers extra for translating or $25.00 to a translating contract service., but the City Election Office does not.
It seems, the City of Milwaukee Election Commission is actually engaged in wage discrimination when it comes to fluent speaking BEIs and they don't get paid for working hours after the polls close at 8:00 p.m., some might argue and agree.