Investigating the Defeat of Colorado's Amendment 46: An Analysis of the Trends and Principal Factors Influencing Voter Behaviors
University of Colorado at Boulder (2010)
27 Pages Posted: 23 Dec 2020 Last revised: 30 Dec 2020
Date Written: 2010
This study of voters' attitudes and behaviors, media coverage of Colorado's Amendment 46, and campaign leaders' perceptions suggests that in order to preserve equal opportunity programs such as affirmative action, advocates should take a proactive role in educating the public about ballot initiatives aimed at dismantling civil rights policies. As such, five central recommendations emerge from the study's results:
1) Ballot initiatives with the same or similar wording as Amendment 46 should be rewritten to clarify the intent, meaning, and consequences of the new law that would be passed. States need to make sure the intent, meaning, and consequences of such initiatives are much clearer to voters. More clarity on such initiatives may help get a more accurate outcome based on voters' intent.
2) Educating voters about the intent, meaning, and consequences of the initiative should be the first priority for advocates.
3) Advocacy leaders ought to have one primary spokesperson to provide information to the media.
4) Education and advocacy efforts should begin well before petition signatures are collected to get the initiative on the ballot.
5) Advocates should plan for both traditional grassroots and door-to-door education efforts, and also for the use of new media and technologies in communicating their message to the public.
Keywords: Colorado's Amendment 46, race, equal opportunity, affirmative action, civil rights policies, votes, state constitutions, higher education, Ward Connerly, ACRI, American Civil Rights Institute
JEL Classification: K00, K39, J71, J78
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation