The new self-service stations being installed across Michigan will allow customers to complete their transactions in Spanish or Arabic, Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson announced.
Benson said the state has already installed 60 of the new self-service kiosks, which are used for renewing vehicle registrations. Benson’s office plans to replace all 93 of the department’s “outmoded kiosks” by the end of January and add 57 more by the end of April.
In a press release, her office said more than 75,000 registration renewal transactions have been completed in English while 450 have been completed in Spanish and more than 70 in Arabic.
“We are committed to improving customer experience for everyone who interacts with our department,” Benson said in a statement. “We’ve heard the call from communities for better language access, and plan to continue translating additional documents in the future.”
Her office has translated three government documents into both Spanish and Arabic, including the Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission application, the driver’s license and ID card application, and the driver’s license and ID card requirements checklist.
Benson also invited “foreign language-speaking community representatives with suggestions on additional documents that would be helpful to translate” to contact her office.
“Be on the lookout for these in your local Meijer and Kroger, we’ll be rolling out more each week in the months ahead,” she said on Twitter.
Be on the lookout 👀 for these in your local Meijer and Kroger, we’ll be rolling out more each week in the months ahead. https://t.co/sjuetbEgrI
— Jocelyn Benson (@JocelynBenson) January 6, 2020
Republicans in the Michigan House passed a bill in 2018 making English the official state language, but the effort was decried as “racist” and “exclusionary,” and ultimately failed to be signed into law. Lawmakers in Wisconsin revived an effort this week to make English the state’s official language, which as many as 32 other states have already done.
“It’s something that’s really meant to promote national unity,” said State Sen. Andre Jacque (R-De Pere), a sponsor of the bill. “We have very strong data that show that societal immigration and economic success, the American dream itself, becomes much more achievable when you have a command of the English language.”
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