By a considerable margin, voters in California rejected Proposition 16, which would have once again allowed state univerities to consider race in their admissions decisions. While some votes remain outstanding, 56 percent of California voters this year voted against the proposal that would have reinstated affirmative action.
The proposition was supported by most leaders of state government and the leaders of the state university systems. The State Senate passed the measure to place the proposition on the November 3 ballot by a vote of 30-10, following approval by the State Assembly by a vote of 60-14.
In 1996, voters in California passed Proposition 209 which banned the consideration of race in admissions decisions at California’s state-operated colleges and universities. Nearly 55 percent of state voters approved the measure.
Immediately after the ban on race-sensitive admissions was enacted, Black enrollments at the most prestigious campuses of the University of California plummeted. And today, nearly a quarter century later, Black enrollments at these campuses remains far below the level that existed prior to Proposition 209.