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SF election results: Voters fail school construction bond Proposition 13

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An unlucky number

A large, baroque, rectangular concrete school building in San Francisco.
Ida B Wells High school in SF.
King of Hearts

Voters gave poor marks all around to a state ballot measure that would have pumped billions into California’s schools and universities Tuesday, with Proposition 13 likely flunking out on Super Tuesday.

With more than 99 percent of precincts reporting Wednesday morning, Proposition 13 trailed with just over 44 percent of voters attempting to pass it. By comparison, the measure was extremely popular in San Francisco, where more than 73 percent of voters backed it, but the rest of the state wasn’t as moved.

While some votes still need counting, the proposition is so far behind that it’s hard to imagine any electoral math that could pull it out. If it had passed, the bond would have borrowed $15 billion to repair and renovate California school buildings.

The Proposition 13 moniker itself may actually have hurt the bond measure too, as that number is irrevocably tied in most Californian’s minds to the voter-approved 1978 law that capped property taxes in the state.

In the upcoming November election, Californians will vote on whether to repeal parts of Proposition 13 (the old one), and on social media ahead of Super Tuesday would-be voters spent some time arguing and correcting each other on whether the school bond had anything to do with the repeal effort.

We will probably never know whether this made a real difference in the voting, but the confusion certainly could not have helped a plan that evidently needed every break it could get.