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Oklahomans to decide affirmative action in November

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September 27, 2012

Oklahoma

By Johanna Herman

TULSA, Oklahoma: On November 6, Oklahoman residents will have six statewide ballot measures to decide on. One of those measures, State Question 759 seeks to end affirmative action in the state. The ACLU of Oklahoma, the Oklahoma State Federation of Democratic Women, and the League of Women Voters have all come out against this measure. The executive director of the ACLU stated that many people may not completely understand what affirmative action means in the state and therefore may vote to abolish it without fully understanding it. He states, "There is a general belief that affirmative action means a quota system where a less qualified applicant might get a job or might get admitted to college over a more qualified applicant simply because of race or gender, and that’s just not true." The treasurer for the Oklahoma federation of Women stated that the ballot language may confuse voters, where a vote in favor of the measure means abolishing affirmative action. The League of Women voters compared other states which have abolished affirmative action and stated that women and minorities have seen a decrease in advanced job placement and college acceptance.

Sen. Rob Johnson is a proponent of the measure and believes that abolishing affirmative action would end programs which give preferential treatment to anyone based on race, gender or nationality. Leslie Osborn was the co-author of the bill and believes that the bill would end preferential treatment.[1]

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