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Missouri Voters Strengthen State

More than 85 percent of voters cast

November 5, 2008

Missouri voters overwhelmingly approved H.J. Res. 7 yesterday, strengthening the state’s official English law. The measure passed with more than 85 percent of the vote, as 2.4 million Missourians cast ballots in favor of the measure. 

The approved measure makes English the official language of all official proceedings in Missouri, including the discussion of public business and roll call votes. It does not affect informal gatherings, social events, and as with all official English legislation, does not affect emergency services. H.J.Res. 7 earlier passed the Missouri House and Senate by better than 3-to-1 margins and had the support of both candidates for governor. 

“Missouri has always been known as a bellwether state,” said Mauro E. Mujica, Chairman of the Board of U.S. English, Inc. “This vote by the people of Missouri is a message to the nation that whether in cities, suburbs or rural America, Democratic, Republican or Independent, we are united as a country in favor of an official language.” 

The Missouri ballot initiative marks the ninth time in nine attempts where voters have approved making English the official language of the state or strengthening an existing laws. Prior to the successful initiative in Missouri, voters had previously approved an official English ballot initiative in Arizona (2006), Utah (2000), Alaska (1998), Colorado (1988), Alabama (1988), Florida (1988), Arizona (1988) and California (1986). To date 30 states have made English the official language of the state.

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