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Ohio Voters Strongly Favor Official English Bill

New Quinnipiac University poll finds 85 percent of voters support measure

June 10, 2008

A new poll released by Quinnipiac University reveals that 85 percent of Ohioans support making English the official language of the state. Less than a month after the Ohio House of Representatives approved legislation that would make the state the 31st to adopt official English, the survey demonstrates that Ohio voters fully support the actions of the legislature. 

The poll of 1,738 Ohio voters found support for the bill among more than 80 percent of Democrats and more than 90 percent of Republicans. Those who favored the bill outnumbered those who opposed it by a margin of greater than 5-to-1 in every region of the state. The survey was conducted by Quinnipiac University from May 29 through June 2, 2008 and has a margin of error of +/- 2.4 percentage points. 

“Official English is one of the few legislative proposals that enjoy the support of 85 percent of the public,” said Mauro E. Mujica, Chairman of the Board of U.S. English, Inc. “While Ohioans may disagree on what steps to take regarding immigration, they are almost universally supportive of efforts to promote assimilation and language learning. The results of this poll demonstrate that Ohio voters expect the state to lead newcomers in the direction of self sufficiency rather than provide perpetual multilingual assistance.” 

Last month, the Ohio House of Representatives approved H.B. 477, which would have made English the official language of the state and required the use of English in the majority of state affairs. Introduced by Rep. Robert Mecklenborg, H.B. 477 would promote English language learning while providing exemptions to comply with state and federal law, as well as to protect the health and safety of Ohio residents. The 54-42 vote in the House sent the measure to the Senate, where it has yet to be considered. 

“I hope that the leaders of Senate look at this poll and take immediate action to answer the call of Ohio voters,” added Mujica. “With elections less than five months away, voters will put a premium on those elected officials who are responsive to the opinions of their constituents. Making English the official language is a winning policy for all Ohioans and I look forward to seeing this become a legislative priority in the very near future.”

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