Election Day numbers Tuesday showed the controversial proposal winning by a wide margin. Michigan becomes the third state to outlaw giving preferential treatment to groups or individuals based on their race, gender, color, ethnicity or national origin for public employment, education or contracting purposes.
With 99 percent of precincts reporting, 58%, or 2,129,506 people, voted yes on Proposal 2 and 42%, or 1,538,520 voters, opposed it.
The proposal was largely prompted by a 2003 U.S. Supreme Court decision that upheld a general affirmative action admissions policy at the University of Michigan's law school but struck down the undergraduate admission formula as too unyielding because it awarded points based on race.
U-M is the only university in the state that uses affirmative action to a great extent in admissions, but all public colleges and universities would have to reevaluate their outreach, scholarship and grant awards if they benefit gender or racial or ethnic groups. Programs that target specific groups in K-12 schools also would be affected.
According to a poll of voters conducted by Mitchell Research and Communications Inc. of East Lansing, voters under age 40 were the only group to oppose the measure in significant numbers on Tuesday.
Men overwhelmingly supported the ban; women narrowly opposed it. Democrats opposed it while Republicans and independents favored it. Black voters strongly opposed the proposition, but it was passing among white voters.