Citizens of a country may be denied the right to vote because they cannot pass a literacy test in a language which is not their mother tongue. This requirement gives advantages to members of the dominant language group and serves as a way to exclude non-members from participation in government. Language tests for immigration may be more lenient than those for voting. This kind of discrimination may affect naturalized immigrants or members of a plural society.
Constitutions of multilingual societies such as Botswana, Gambia, Ghana, Guyana, Kenya, Lesotho, Sierra Leone and Uganda require the command of English for election to the central legislative; while French is mandatory in Cameroon, Congo, Mali, and Niger.