Margin on tobacco tax measure continues to narrow

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The margin of loss for the tobacco tax on Tuesday’s primary ballot continued to narrow Friday as elections officials across California tallied hundreds of thousands of uncounted ballots.

Proposition 29 was losing by just over 45,000 votes Friday afternoon, compared with 53,000 votes Thursday and 63,000 on election night. On Friday morning, the margin was down to 40,000, but it bounced upward by 5,000 later in the day.


“Ballots continue to trend in our direction. We still have an awfully long way to go, but we hope that [the trend] continues to hold,’ said Chris Lehman, campaign manager for Yes on 29.

More than 4 million ballots have already been counted across the state. The secretary of state’s office released a partial estimate of the number of uncounted ballots Friday morning -- 972,000 -- but that did not include outstanding ballots in 12 of California’s 58 counties.

The uncounted ballots consist of many cast by mail, as well as provisional and damaged ones.

-- Phil Willon