OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma voters will decide in November on a Republican-backed proposal to wipe out affirmative action programs in state government. It's an initiative that opponents say is designed only to stoke racial tensions and drive white, conservative voters to the polls.
The Legislature voted in 2011 to send the proposal to a vote of the people over the objection of Democrats who argued there already was a prohibition on racial or gender quotas in state government and that such a change was unnecessary.
Republican Senator Rob Johnson sponsored the proposal and says the state needs to lead by example to help move past racism.
State officials say even if the proposal passes, it won't have an impact on any state hiring or bidding practices, although it could eliminate some scholarships at state universities.