California Vote Could Boost Taxes, End Death Penalty

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — An election marked by a troubled economy, record political spending and a surge in registered voters comes with California at a crossroad.

The outcome Tuesday will decide whether Californians will pay higher taxes to fix the state’s persistently out-of-balance budget, change direction on the death penalty and pass a first-in-the-nation requirement to label genetically modified foods.

No politician has more at stake than Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown, who is championing a $6 billion-a-year tax increase that he says he will fix California’s budget turmoil and prevent deep cuts to public schools.

Voters will judge 11 statewide ballot propositions, topped by Brown’s tax plan, Proposition 30. Organized labor, meanwhile, has spent $75 million so far to block Proposition 32, which would starve unions of the dues they use for political purposes.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.

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