Colorado Independent: Measure to end affirmative action goes to voters

Colorado Independent (9/18/08)

Measure to end affirmative action goes to voters

A campaign seeking to quash Colorado’s anti-affirmative-action ballot measure faces an onerous battle in the weeks ahead as the Nov. 4 election nears. The group behind the campaign hopes to convince voters to reject the ballot initiative, which will dismantle affirmative action programs if passed. But a series of failed legal challenges have left organizers with little cash as they scramble to put together a cogent countercampaign.

The anti-affirmative-action measure, Amendment 46, is part of what was originally a five-state effort this year in Colorado, Arizona, Missouri, Nebraska and Oklahoma to end preferential treatment for women and minorities in public employment, contracting and education. Orchestrated by California businessman Ward Connerly, the anti-affirmative-action thrust failed to catch on in all but two states — Colorado and Nebraska. In the rest, petition circulators did not gather enough valid signatures to place it on the ballot, or, in the case of Arizona, state officials found irregularities in the signatures and struck it from the ballot. Similar Connerly-organized campaigns to limit affirmative action have previously passed in California, Michigan, and Washington state.

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