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Washington voters will decide if affirmative action ban will be reversed

The secretary of state’s office certified a referendum that forces a popular vote on whether Washington should reverse a ban on affirmative action.

Editor's note: The above video is from a 2018 campaign to repeal the ban of affirmative action.

The decision of whether to allow affirmative action in Washington state is in the hands of voters.

Washington’s Office of the Secretary of State certified Referendum 88 Wednesday morning, which aims to repeal a Legislature-approved initiative to reverse a 1998 ban on affirmative action.

Supporters of R-88 turned in 213,268 signatures before the July 27 deadline, according to the secretary of state’s office. At least 129,811 signatures were needed to get the measure on the ballot.

The measure has enough signatures to make it on the November ballot, according to the secretary of state's office.

Lawmakers passed Initiative 1000 last session, which allows recruitment goals for minority candidates in state jobs, education, and contracting, and significantly loosens existing restrictions on targeted outreach and other forms of affirmative action.

As an initiative to the Legislature, lawmakers had the option to send I-1000 to a popular vote, but both chambers decided to approve it.