Missouri's Secretary of State, Robin Carnahan, has severely misrepresented a proposed constitutional amendment intended to ban racial and gender discrimination by focusing narrowly on the effect the ban would have on existing affirmative action programs. The text originally submitted by the Missouri Civil Rights Initiative says:
Shall the Missouri Constitution be amended to prohibit any form of discrimination as an act of the state by declaring:
"The state shall not discriminate against, or grant preferential treatment to, any individual or group on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity or national origin in the operation of public employment, public education or public contracting?"
And the text as written by the Secretary of State for the official ballot:
Shall the Missouri Constitution be amended to:
* ban affirmative action programs designed to eliminate discrimination against, and improve opportunities for, women and minorities in public contracting, employment and education; and
* allow preferential treatment based on race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin to meet federal program funds eligibility standards as well as preferential treatment for bona fide qualifications based on sex?
It's totally inaccurate for the MoSecState to describe the amendment as banning affirmative action "designed to eliminate discrimination..." because in fact all affirmative action would be banned. The inclusion of this phrase is intended to bias the reader against the amendment, despite the fact that the vast majority of voters would be in favor of a racial- and gender-neutral government. Since when does the secretary of state play politics in the execution of her official duties?