Students, faculty and staff flocked to the polls on Tuesday to weigh in on a slew of local and state issues, ranging from taxes for education funding to the use of condoms in adult films.
Gov. Jerry Brown’s initiative to raise the state sales tax and increase taxes on individuals earning over $250,000 was leading by about four points with 53 percent of precincts reporting at press time at midnight. According to several polls, Proposition 30 had been losing support among likely voters in recent weeks. If the measure fails, trigger cuts could go into effect, slashing funding for California schools.
“I’m feeling pretty confident that this vote will turn out to be in the positive column,’’ Brown told NBC News.
Brown’s plan has been competing with Proposition 38, billionaire Molly Munger’s tax increase to fund K-12 schools. Prop. 38 failed, according to the Los Angeles Times, with the California Secretary of State website showing support at 26.8 percent.
Proposition 35, an initiative to increase the punishment for human traffickers, was successful, according to the Associated Press. Support for the initiative was at 82 percent. In addition, Proposition 36, a push to revise California’s three strikes law, was leading 68.5 percent to 31.5 percent.
Two heavily watched initiatives, Proposition 34 and Proposition 37, appear to be losing, early results show. Prop. 34, a ban on the death penalty, had about 45.9 percent support. Prop. 37, a push to require labeling of genetically modified food, was also down with 45.0 percent support.
In L.A. County, voters considered three measures. Voters appear to have passed Measure J, an extension of a 2008 initiative to add a half-cent sales tax that funds transportation projects. The measure had received 64.8 percent support with 38 percent of precincts reporting.
Measure B, which requires that condoms be used when filming pornography, passed with early results showing 59.9 percent support.
Early results also showed Measure A, an initiative to make the county assessor an appointed position, failing with support from only 22.8 percent of voters in reported precincts.
Voters also cast their ballots in a race to elect a new district attorney for the county. Deputy District Attorney Jackie Lacey is leading in a race against prosecutor Alan Jackson, according to early results. Lacey was leading by about by about nine percentage points with support from about 54.9 percent of voters from reported precincts.
Turnout in Los Angeles County dipped about 15 percentage points from 2008, according to initial estimates from the county clerk’s office. Monica Flores, a spokesperson at the county clerk’s office, said estimates at 8 p.m. showed voter turnout at about 66 percent — down from 82 percent in 2008.
Throughout the day Tueday, organizers from student organizations worked to get out the vote. Maddy Lansky, president of the College Republicans, encouraged members to vote in state races, especially because California was likely to award its electoral votes to President Barack Obama.
“For the congressional candidates, for the state assembly candidates and for the California propositions, it is critical that they get out and cast their vote,” Lansky said. “So that’s what we’re hoping to accomplish and we’re hoping to see a big victory in the down-ballot candidates here in California.”
Yasmeen Serhan contributed to this report. All data was reported as of press time at midnight. Fifty-three percent of precincts had reported in the state and 38 percent had reported in the county.