The Aug. 2 new story about delays in posting a national Spanish-language voter registration form on the Internet ["Plan to Ease Voter Registration for Spanish Speakers Stalled"] left me baffled. Why would it take a 33-page form to register to vote? The article didn't explain.

I found the details, though, in the registration documents posted at the U.S. Election Assistance Commission Web site at

The form isn't 33 pages. It's just one page. The Voter Registration Application form itself -- that is, the part that the prospective voter fills out -- has nine questions that apply to most citizens and four that cover special situations.

The 33-page document the article referred to includes two copies of this form, plus two reverse-side pages that turn the form into a postcard mailer if the document is printed double-sided. The cover consists of one page, and there are two pages of general instructions.

The challenge to translators was obviously the 26 pages of state-by-state instructions. Since state laws might have changed since the translation project began in January, direct involvement by the states would seem necessary to ensure that the instructions stay up-to-date.