Lessons From Washington State

I have, or will have shortly, an essay on Minding The Campus on the lessons of last week’s vote in Washington state rejecting affirmative action — more accurately, rejecting the attempt to repeal the state’s 1998 prohibition of affirmative action — that I initially discussed two weeks ago in A Duplicitous Attempt to Rescue Affirmative Action.

As I write early Monday morning there is a version up on MTC, but I’m not providing a link because it’s an earlier, unrevised, and now incorrect version. I’ll provide a link once the correct version appears.

UPDATE! 11 November 9:10am

Washington State Voters Reject Affirmative Action, Again, corrected, is now up on Minding The Campus.



Washington Referendum 88: Incomplete Results

[NOTE: Numbers revised since original posting earlier today because 1) the official vote totals were updated this afternoon, and 2) that well-known arithmetic wizard, Roger Clegg, corrected a faulty assumption that had, somehow, crept into my work.]

As of the latest revision (1:06 pm this afternoon) of the official returns of the Washington state vote on Referendum 88 (discussed here), the NO vote — to preserve the state’s ban on racial preference — leads by only 35,300 votes (722,240 to 686,940, or 51.25% – 48.75%).

That is a very slim lead, since according to an article in the Seattle Times published last night,

After Thursday’s results, King County still had 182,000 ballots to count, according to the Secretary of State’s Office. That’s nearly 38% of the ballots estimated to be remaining statewide.

In the votes so far reported, King County (Seattle) voted YES — to bring back affirmative action, i.e., racial preference — 62% to 38%. The average NO vote in the 35 (of 39) counties in the state that voted NO was 63%.

Nevertheless — any readers good at arithmetic feel free to correct me — if all the above information is correct there would seem to be good grounds for optimism. Consider:

  • If we assume the outstanding King County ballots vote YES by a lopsided 70% – 30%, that’s an additional 127,400  YES votes and 54,600 NO votes.
  • There are 291,684 uncounted ballots in the rest of the state (473,684 minus the 182,000 in King County). If we assume that only 60% were NO ballots (because three counties in addition to King voted YES, though by much smaller margins than King), that’s still an additional 175,010 NO votes and 116,673 YES votes still to be counted.

Thus, on the assumptions in the above calculations, combining old and projected results leads to the following estimate of the final outcome:

  • The estimated NO total would be 951,850
  • The estimated YES total would be 931,013

Still very close, but reasonable grounds for guarded optimism, no?


EXTRA! EXTRA! Washington Rejects Racial Preference!

Although candidates for office in Kentucky, Mississippi, and Virginia will no doubt disagree, the most important election yesterday was in Washington state, where, for a second time, voters have rejected racial preference by voting down Referendum 88. Voters supported racial preference in only three counties — King (Seattle), Jefferson (a rich suburban country across the […]

A Duplicitous Attempt To Rescue Racial Preference

You’ve probably been reading lately about the disgraceful attempt in Washington state to overturn I-200, a ballot initiative initiative passed by 58% of Washington voters in 1998 that barred racial preferences by universities and public employers or contractors. Now please read more about it, my essay that just went up on Minding The Campus: A […]

Harvard Won. Fairness Lost. Release 2.0

In the post immediately below I have a link to my essay on Minding The Campus about the decision in SFFA v. Harvard University. My follow-up essay on that disappointing decision, “Why Harvard’s Affirmative Action Victory Should Be Overturned,” has just appeared, also on Minding The Campus. UPDATE Roger Clegg, CEO and general counsel of the […]

Harvard Won. Fairness Lost

A few days ago the U.S. District Court for Massachusetts, Obama-nominated Judge Allison Burroughs presiding, decided Students For Fair Admissions v. Harvard College, holding that Harvard’s discrimination against Asians isn’t discrimination, that the racial balancing and, in effect, quotas it uses to engineer a class with a sufficient number of blacks and Hispanics but not […]

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