California voters on Tuesday defeated a ballot measure to repeal the state’s death penalty, while a measure that would expedite and amend the death penalty process narrowly leads with more ballots left to be counted.
The final outcome will conclude a closely watched ballot race to address what people on both sides of the debate have agreed is a broken system.
Proposition 62, which would have replaced capital punishment for murder with life in prison without parole, garnered 46.1% of the vote.
A Los Angeles County ballot measure asking voters to tax themselves for park improvements has a big lead.
With all precincts reporting, Measure A is leading with 73.49% of voters in support of the ballot initiative. It requires a 66.67% vote to pass.
Measure A would impose a county tax on improved property, at a rate of 1.5 cents per square foot of building area – about $22.50 a year for a 1,500-square-foot house – and bring in $94.5 million a year, without an end date.
Measure CC, a $3.5-billion construction bond for the Los Angeles Community College District, appeared to be on track to pass early Wednesday morning.
With all precincts reporting, the measure was securing 75% of the vote, far better than the 55% majority needed to pass. An unknown number of vote-by-mail and provisional ballots still have not been counted.
Supporters say the money is necessary to complete renovation efforts that began with earlier bond measures. Projects to be completed include earthquake-safety upgrades and better access for disabled students.
With all precincts reporting, two tax measures that would enable more ranger and fire patrols in increasingly popular areas along the Hollywood Hills and Santa Monica mountains are leading by wide margins.
Measure FF calls for an annual $15 tax on developed parcels of land that are within a special hillside district covering parts of Woodland Hills, Encino and Tarzana. Measure GG would impose a $35 tax on similar parcels west of Griffith Park but east of the 405 Freeway. Only voters in these districts saw these two measures on their ballots.
With all precincts reporting, Measure FF is leading with 76.48% of voters in support. Measure GG is similarly leading and 83.71% are backing the initiative. Both measures require a two-thirds vote to pass.
A measure to revise the oversight and operations of Los Angeles' city-owned water and power utility slipped behind in the vote tally early Wednesday.
With 99.82% of precincts reporting, Measure RRR, to reform the Department of Water and Power, was opposed by 51.68% of voters. The count does not include an unknown number of vote-by-mail and provisional ballots.
Measure RRR is a long and detailed, but not sweeping, set of changes to the utility. Supporters say it would give the DWP more independence in a way that would make the municipally owned utility "more accountable, transparent and responsive," as described in the city's official ballot argument.
California voters have approved Proposition 51, a $9-billion bond for school construction projects across the state.
The measure was leading 53.9% to 46.1%, according to election returns at 5 a.m. Wednesday, and the Associated Press has called the victory.
State funding to help finance repairs and new school facilities across California had run dry, and Proposition 51 will refill the pot. School construction needs billions of dollars every year, according to the nonpartisan Legislative Analyst's Office. With the new cash infusion, the state will once again match local district funding for construction projects.