OLYMPIA, Wash. — Washington voters have rejected a ballot measure seeking to reinstate the use of affirmative action in state employment, contracting and admission to public colleges and universities.    

Referendum 88 was being rejected by just over 50 percent of voters with a margin of about 13,000 votes.

The measure asked voters whether they want to approve or reject Initiative 1000, which was passed by the Legislature in April. I-1000 amends current statutes that prohibit state government from discriminating against or giving preferential treatment to individuals or groups based on race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin in public employment, public education, or public contracting.

The initiative would have allowed the consideration of being part of a minority group to be a contributing factor for a qualified applicant but would have prohibited quotas.

RELATED: Washington voters narrowly rejecting affirmative action measure in latest counts

RELATED: Hot races: Spokane, Washington state Election 2019

RELATED: What is the 'affirmative action' item on November's ballot in Washington?