Latest vote count has affirmative action measure once again failing

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The latest ballot count again shows Washington voters rejecting Referendum 88, the affirmative action law.

After a Friday ballot count, the measure was passing by 842 votes. Saturday’s count put the no votes back in the lead by more than 12,000 votes.

Thousands of votes remain to be counted throughout the state, so the issue is not yet settled.

After the Tuesday’s first count  R-88 was failing, with almost 52 percent of voters saying no.

Referendum 88 came in response to the Legislature passing Initiative 1000 this year, which amends a previous voter-approved ban on affirmative action.

If it is approved, a person’s minority status can be considered in hiring state workers and contractors. It does not allow quotas, however.

Only four counties are voting in favor of R-88, but populous King County remains strongly in favor.

About 63 percent of voters in Chelan County are opposing the referendum and 67.5 percent are saying no in Douglas County.

The other counties voting in favor of R-88 are Jefferson, Whatcom and San Juan Island.