Nation: How About Swahili?

Reaching for the votes of the city's 600,000 Puerto Ricans has become a major preoccupation of New York politicians. Puerto Ricans already cast enough votes to tip a close citywide election, and probably a lot more of them could vote if they were not disqualified by the state's literacy requirement. Last week Democratic Mayor Robert Wagner proposed a way to get around this inconvenient barrier to bigger Puerto Rican turnouts at the polls. If literacy tests could not be abolished entirely, he said, it was "obviously right" that Puerto Ricans should be allowed to take theirs in Spanish.

What was really obvious,...

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