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California voters favor a change in the state's term limits law and are narrowly backing a tobacco tax hike, based on initial returns reported tonight by the Secretary of State's Office.

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The tobacco tax initiative, Proposition 29, is leading by a 53-47 margin and is expected to be close throughout the night. While voters favored the initiative before the campaign began, polls tightened in recent weeks after a barrage of industry-funded opposition ads across the state.

Proposition 29 would raise $735 million annually for cancer research, stop-smoking programs and law enforcement related to tobacco crimes like smuggling. The higher cigarette tax would have taken takes effect starting in October, along with a comparable charge on other forms of tobacco.

Voters favor the term limits initiative, Proposition 28, by a 66-34 tally. It would allow state lawmakers to serve longer in either the Senate or Assembly but reduce their overall time limit in the Capitol from 14 years to 12 years.

As of 8:13 p.m., 6.3 percent of precincts had reported returns. The first results generally reflect mail ballots counted in advance by county election officials.

MORE ELECTION 2012 COVERAGE

Vote results: Customize your view

Voter guide: The candidates

Bee endorsements

Photo by Randy Allen: Supporters of Yes on Prop 29 gather at the Citizen Hotel waiting for election results on Tuesday, June 5, 2012. Prop 29 endorsed a tax measure on tobacco and cigarettes.



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