Am I missing something here?

In their mailboxes one day this week, residents of Kodiak, Alaska, are expected to find a new pamphlet containing full details of the four ballot initiatives they'll vote on Aug. 26. For most people, that should help, since up 'til now they've been unable to understand the explanatory materials provided by the Division of Elections. Too confusing? No, Tagalog. (Which, if you didn't know, is the most widely spoken language in the Philippines.) Now, there are indeed Filipinos on Kodiak Island – and have been for generations, many of them working in the fish canneries. But they make up only 14 percent of the population. Those folks, it can be presumed, know that "bumoto" in the referendum literature means "vote" and "petsa ng kapanganakan" means "date of birth." But the 86 percent of Kodiak Islanders who are Caucasian, native American, or black probably would have had to consult a Tagalog-English dictionary to identify those terms. So you can imagine the confusion when the Postal Service delivered their pamphlets and they couldn't read them. The English-language version was to have been mailed first, a Division of Elections official said, blaming the situation on the printing plant. Happily, a new press run has "rectified" the situation. Meanwhile, the referendum details were available all along on the division's website if anyone had cared to look there.

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