Affirmative Action and Teen Voting Defeated by Voters, Education Funding Slightly Behind

California voters have rejected a statewide ballot measure that would have reinstated affirmative action in college admissions processes in California. With the failure of Proposition 16, public universities cannot use race as a positive factor in admissions.

The result is a blow to California Community Colleges, the California State University, Gov. Gavin Newsom, the University of California, and the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce — all of whom supported the measure as a way to increase diversity and inclusion in higher education. It is also a blow to the state Legislature that put it on the ballot.

As of Thursday morning, CalMatters’ tracker showed Proposition 16 with a rejection rate of 56.0%. But it wasn’t a complete surprise. There was concern all along that Proposition 16 could be confusing to voters. 

Another statewide ballot measure that would have allowed 17-year-olds to vote in primaries and special elections has also failed. The vote tally for Proposition 18 showed just 44.9% approval Thursday morning.  

All eyes are now on Proposition 15, which would raise commercial property taxes to pay for $4.6 billion in upgrades and technology for schools and community colleges. As of Thursday morning, Proposition 15 was narrowly behind but still too close to call