Dan Bewley, News On 6
TULSA, Oklahoma -- Voters go to the polls next week to decide if English should be Oklahoma's official language.
State Question 751, one of eleven state questions, is being called the state's "English only" question. It would make English the state's official language, meaning all transactions performed by the state, like when you get your driver's license, would be done in English only.
The measure does allow situations for Native American languages but prevents citizens from suing the state because they couldn't get a document in another language.
"Well, we think, from a common sense and purely practical position that this would be the best move for the state of Oklahoma," said Amanda Teegarden, Oklahomans for Sovereignty and Free Enterprise.
Amanda Teegarden is with Oklahomans for Sovereignty and Free Enterprise. They say it's important for Oklahoma to join the "English only" crowd.
"I think it is important though as a unifying factor to speak English, but the responsibility lies with the person who doesn't speak English to find a friend who does or a church who will help translate whatever the official business is so that they can understand it," she said.
The bill's authors admit there's been no official study done of how much money the measure, if passed, would save the state. But they say, it would be several hundreds of thousands of dollars a year.
"This is a symbolic gesture and anyone who tells me that it is going to save money, I don't believe that for a second," said Marvin Lizama, Coalition for the American Dream.
Marvin Lizama, with the Coalition for the American Dream, said by becoming an English-only state, Oklahoma is saying to the rest of the world, "don't worry about coming here."
"If we're sending the message that we're not welcome unless you're an American or have been Americanized and have integrated into our culture then don't bother coming, that's the wrong message to send," he said.