Prop. 8 final vote count

The California Secretary of State's office has released the final official Statement of Vote for the 2008 general election, which of course includes the final official vote count for Prop. 8, in the ballot measures document (PDF).

The final vote:

Yes: 7.0M votes, 52.2%

No: 6.4M votes, 47.8%

The final margin was almost exactly 600,000 votes; about 4.5%.

That's quite close to the original report, the day after election day, when Yes was leading by 5.0%, which at the time amounted to 500,000 votes. So counting the additional 3.4M (or so) absentee and provisional ballots didn't end up making much difference.

They stopped updating the map over two weeks ago, but the county colors (showing which counties went Yes and which went No) are still accurate--I compared the map to the list in the PDF, and none of the counties switched sides in the final 400,000 votes counted.

Items of particular note, from the final count:

  • San Francisco voted 75.2% No, the highest No percentage in the state.
  • In LA County, the final vote was 50.1% Yes; Yes won in that county by 2,385 votes. I mention this because for some reason, various people have said that Prop 8 failed in LA. But the map has shown Yes with a slight lead in LA from the start, so I'm not sure why people think it failed there. (They might mean the city of LA, but I'm not sure where they would be getting city-specific numbers.)
  • In Nevada County, the vote was even closer: Yes won by three votes. Not three percent; three votes, out of a total of over 55,000 votes. Wouldn't have made a difference to the statewide results, of course, but would've been nice to see one more spot of yellow among the inland counties on the map. (For those who don't know, Nevada county is on the east side of the state, a little north of the sharp elbow bend where CA meets NV.)

(Side note: The PDF ballot-measures document does some weird things with rounding percentages. For example, Nevada County is listed as having 50.1% Yes votes; it was really more like 50.003%, unless I'm misunderstanding something. And the totals are oddly rounded too; I used my calculated percentages above for the totals rather than their slightly different ones. Maybe the percentages includes ballots that marked neither Yes nor No? I'm not sure.)

Anyway. We've known since the election that the final results would be something like this, but I had been hoping the extra ballots would narrow the gap a little.

7 Responses to “Prop. 8 final vote count”

  1. Tacithydra

    My silver lining is that at least it didn’t really get any bigger

    It’s going to be a lot of work getting this onto the ballot and passed in ’10 or ’12, if the supremes don’t overturn it.

  2. Jed

    Yeah, I agree that it’s good to see the gap didn’t get significantly bigger as they counted more votes.

    …More re 2010/2012 in separate entry, to follow.

  3. Dude

    Why would you want to get it on the ballot for ’10 or ’12? The people spoke. In no time in history has marriage ever been defined as between two people of the same sex.

  4. Dean

    The population of the state of CA is close to 35 million. There 17.1 million registered voters in the state of CA. The yes vote for prop 8 represented 8% of registered voters while the no vote represented 6% of registered voters. 86% of registered voters didn’t weigh in on the issue. A small percentage of the state population influenced by a false adversing campaign cannot be considered as “The People have spoke.” At no point in history except for the last century and the current century has marriage been defined as between two people of the same sex. They pay equivalent taxes do you think they are going away?

    • Anonymous


      I am confused by your math – 17.1 million registered voters (according to your post) – 7 million voted yes and 6.4 million voted NO – that is 13.4 million voters or 78.34 % of registered voters.

    • Anonymous

      you need to check your math.
      7 million is 41% of 17 million. close to 14 million of 17 million voted. That is over 75%.

  5. Jed

    Huh—looks like I never replied to the last couple comments here.

    Dude: By “the people,” you mean 52% of the people who voted. It’s extremely misleading to present that as a mandate or as the voice of the people. As for history, marriage has changed radically over the millennia; anyone who says that it’s never changed is outright wrong.

    Dean: I appreciate the sentiment, but Anonymous is absolutely right: you’re unfortunately way off on your numbers. The yes vote for Prop 8 was 40% of California’s 17.3 million registered voters, not 8%; the no vote for Prop 8 was 37% of registered voters, not 6%; and only 19% of registered voters didn’t weigh in (not the 86% you mentioned).


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