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Colorado Discrimination/Preferential Treatment Initiative (2008)

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The Colorado Equal Opportunity Initiative, Initiative 82, was a citizen-initiated constitutional amendment. The measure would have prohibited discrimination in public employment, public education, and public contracting, to the extent that it would not threaten the continuation of policies that ensure eligibility for federal programs or implement court-ordered remedies or consent decrees in civil rights cases.

Initiative 82 was proposed to replace Initiative 61, which was rejected by the Title Board for violating the single-subject rule and for being likely to confuse voters.

Like Initiative 61 before it, Initiative 82 was a reaction to the Colorado Civil Rights Initiative, which had already won a place on the November 2008 ballot. The Civil Right Initiative would have ended all discrimination in public employment, public education, and public contracting, without concern for protecting programs or policies that would violate the anti-discrimination rule.

The official ballot title reads:

An amendment to the Colorado constitution concerning a prohibition against discrimination by the state, and, in connection therewith, prohibiting the state from discriminating against or granting certain forms of preferential treatment to any individual or group on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin in the operation of public employment, education, and contracting; defining preferential treatment to mean adopting quotas or awarding points solely on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin; preserving the state's authority to take action to establish or maintain eligibility for a federal program; protecting the validity of a court-ordered remedy or consent decree in a civil rights action; and defining "state" to include, without limitation, the state of Colorado, any agency or department of the state, any public institution of higher education, any political subdivision, or any governmental instrumentality of or within the state.


Supporters said they were offering this measure to protect the progress Colorado had made toward providing equal opportunity to women and people of color. They said their proposal would eliminate discrimination while protecting modest programs that continue to secure equal opportunity.


The measure was primarily opposed by the supporters of the Colorado Civil Rights Initiative.

Charges of petitioner misconduct

An undercover investigative reporter from (dead link) reports to have an audio recording (dead link) of an Initiative 82 petitioner misleading potential signers about the measure and lying about the effects of the Civil Rights Initiative (Amendment 46) and how the two measures compare. The petitioner is in the employ of Fieldworks.[1][2]

Amendment 82 was being supported by Protect Colorado's Future, a group that has levied similar charges against petitioners for the Civil Rights Initiative.


This initiative failed to make the ballot Sept. 3, 2008, when the Secretary of State determined that 42% of the signatures submitted were unvalid, leaving proponents short of the requirement.[3] Supporters submitted 117,871 signatures on Aug. 4, 2008. The measure needed 76,047 valid signatures to earn a spot on the November 2008 ballot.[4]

See also

External links