Candidate removed from ballot calls experience 'humiliating'

January 31, 2012

A prospective city council candidate in a Southwestern Arizona border town whose English proficiency was questioned finally spoke to the public Monday evening. She says she is appealing a court decision that removed her from the ballot. From Yuma, Arizona, Michelle Faust has details.

MICHELLE FAUST: In a case that her lawyers say has civil rights implications, Alejandrina Cabrera spoke at a press conference Monday surrounded by lawyers. As she wiped away tears she says this experience was humiliating.  Cabrera continues her fight to be allowed to run for San Luis City Council. After her name was struck from the ballot last week, when a county judge ruled that her English was insufficient to hold office as required by Arizona State law. She admits that her English is not perfect, but says that’s typical in the border town where she hopes to run.

ALEJANDRINA CABRERA: It’s not perfect, but it’s perfect for this position in San Luis, Arizona, because the people speak both languages but the people prefer Spanish.

MICHELLE FAUST: Ballots were set to print Thursday, but have been postponed until next Tuesday. Cabrera’s lawyers hope to get a ruling from the Arizona Supreme Court in time.

RELATED STORY: State Supreme Court to hear appeal of candidate's proficiency