In the continuing controversy over whether we should have voting exclusively in English or not, one point seems to always be overlooked: Who translates the ballot, supporting documentation, etc? Translation is a subjective thing. For any significant body of text, there are no two translators that would translate in exactly the same way. The tone, use of vernacular, and subtle word choice can dramatically change a reader’s perception to a body of text. If we have ballots in multiple languages, we can’t preserve the original author’s tone, and therefore, the original text is void. I know that “yes”/”no” translate fairly easily; but the supporting text does not.
If our goal is to have everyone voting fairly – on the same initiatives – then we have to distribute identical material to everyone. Unfortunately, this means the ballot has to be in one language. For now, that language is in English. If the majority wants to change the language to something else, they can put up an initiative to change the language. Whichever we pick, there should only be one.