The fate of Proposition 29, the proposal to hike the tobacco tax by $1 per pack of cigarettes to fund cancer research, remains uncertain with supporters and opponents virtually tied as the final stages of counting the votes come closer.
Though supporters of the initiative saw an early lead, it was soon reversed in favor of the opponents by the time 50 percent of the votes had been counted.
California's campaign to slap an additional tax on tobacco, endorsed by celebrities including the cycling legend and cancer survivor Lance Armstrong, has gained nationwide attention.
The opponents of the initiative argue that it would create government bureaucracy and send tobacco revenues outside of the state, hurting the state's economy. Tobacco companies have contributed the major chunk of the $50 million raised in opposition to the proposition.
Proposition 28, meanwhile, was passed in a landslide victory which would reduce the number of years a citizen could serve in the Legislature from 14 years to 12, but would enable them to serve the entire time in the same house.
Update 5:00 AM EDT
Proposition 28 was passed while the fate of Proposition 29, to increase the tobacco tax, remains uncertain.
Update 4:00 AM EDT
Figures, as of now, don't look good for tobacco tax supporters. With 65.4 percent of votes in from 21,993 precincts, the number of votes in support for the tax hike is lagging behind the numbers against the tax by a 20,000-vote margin from over 3.2 million votes counted.
Update 3:00 AM EDT
With 45 percent of the votes in, 50.1 percent had voted in favor of tobacco tax, while 49.9 percent had voted no, with a margin of lead of 6,000 votes from over 2.8 million votes counted.
Update 2:20 AM EDT
With 27.8 percent of the votes in from 21,993 precincts, 50.4 percent had voted for Proposition 29, while 49.6 percent had voted no.
Update 1:40 AM EDT
With 21.5 percent of the votes in, the early lead in favor of tobacco tax hike kept slimming, with 50.7 percent registering yes while 49.3 percent saying no.
Update 1:20 AM EDT
With 14.5 percent of the votes in, 51 percent had voted for Proposition 29, while 49 percent had voted no.
Update 1:00 AM EDT
With 12 percent of the votes in, 51.4 percent had voted for Proposition 29, while 48.6 percent had voted against the ballot measure.