Ariz. Ballot Campaign on Affirmative Action Ends

Associated Press, August 29, 2008

A campaign to put an initiative on affirmative action on Arizona’s Nov. 4 ballot is over.

The Arizona Civil Rights Initiative campaign led by former California educator Ward Connerly announced Friday it was abandoning its lawsuit to overturn the state’s decertification of Proposition 104.

The campaign issued a statement saying it still believed it collected enough valid petition signatures to put the initiative on the ballot but said it couldn’t review all the signatures rejected by election officials in time.

The effort to amend the Arizona Constitution will be made anew for the 2010 ballot, the campaign said. “Arizona voters will have a chance to vote on this important issue.”

The proposed amendment to the Arizona Constitution was intended to dismantle state and local government preferential programs for women and minorities.

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A judge late Thursday gave the Arizona initiative campaign until next Wednesday to finish its review of approximately 6,000 signatures rejected by Maricopa County. The campaign said that wasn’t enough time because the county was letting it use only two voter-registration computers to check the signatures.

Though county elections officials were helpful, “no matter how helpful they have been, the fact remains that our campaign and those who signed our petitions have been cheated,” the campaign said.

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