Voters to Decide on Racial Preferences in Oklahoma Hiring

Oct 21, 2012

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — While the nation's highest court ponders the use of race in college admissions, Oklahoma voters will decide next month whether to prohibit any affirmative action programs in state government.

State Question 759 is a Republican-backed proposal approved by Oklahoma lawmakers last year that would ban any government programs that give preferred treatment based on race, gender, ethnicity or national origin.

Supporters say affirmative action programs are no longer needed, while opponents maintain racism still exists and that eliminating such programs would move the state backward.

The ballot question in Oklahoma comes just as the U.S. Supreme Court considers a case involving a white student who contends she was discriminated against when the University of Texas did not offer her a spot in 2008 because of its affirmative action program.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.