Anti-affirmative action referendum to be on November ballot

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — A measure that seeks to repeal affirmative action in Washington state will be on the November ballot.

The secretary of state's office said Wednesday that it certified Referendum 88 for the general election. The opponents of Initiative 1000, which passed the Legislature in April, had 90 days to gather 129,811 valid signatures to force a public vote. The referendum campaign submitted more than 213,000 signatures.

Affirmative action has been illegal in Washington since Initiative 200 was approved by voters in 1998. I-1000 prohibits using factors such as race as the sole qualifier for an otherwise less-qualified applicant, and also bans mandatory quotas. It permits state agencies to establish diversity goals and timelines, and consider being part of a minority group as a contributing factor for an applicant.

Along with race, I-1000 allows consideration of sex, ethnicity, age, disability and honorable discharge or military status.