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THE COLOR AND MONEY BLOG:
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
With the state legislature's decision last month to put the measure before voters, Arizona becomes the first state to have such a measure put on the ballot through legislative action rather than a citizen petition drive. The campaign on behalf of the measure had tried using the petition-gathering route to put it before voters last November, but they failed to gather enough signatures by a state-imposed deadline.
The Arizona referendum calls for the state Constitution to be amended to ban public colleges and other state and local agencies from granting preferential treatment based on race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin in employment, contracting, and education-related decisions. It is very similar in its wording to the measures that have been adopted by California, Michigan, Nebraska, and Washington State and to a measure which failed narrowly in Colorado last fall.
Many political analysts believe the Arizona measure should pass easily, especially given that state's fairly conservative political climate and tensions there over immigration.