California Polls Close, Counting Begins
SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Voting stations across California closed at 8 p.m., and the counting began immediately.

Topping the ballot was the presidential contest between President Obama and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, plus the race for one of California's U.S. Senate seats between Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein of San Francisco and Republican Elizabeth Emken, an autism activist from Danville.

The California ballot also included 11 statewide initiatives.

Early results showed Proposition 30, Governor Jerry Brown's measure for a tax increase to stave off major cuts to school funding, was losing by a large margin.

Brown has warned that if Prop 30 doesn't pass, a mandatory $6 billion cut to the state's schools will be implemented.

California voters also rejected a second education measure, Proposition 38, a broad-based income tax increase that would have raised billions of dollars a year for public schools.

Voters also faced a decision on whether to repeal the state death penalty, and whether to eliminate unions' primary political fundraising tool: deductions from members' paychecks.

Prop. 36, the revised 3 strikes law, was approved.

California voters approved Prop. 35 which imposes life sentences for the sex-trafficking of children. It also requires sex offenders to provide email addresses and other Internet identifiers to law enforcement.

There were more than 300 local ballot measures in cities, counties and school districts across the state, most of them to increase taxes or approve school bonds.

Los Angeles County voters appeared to be favoring Measure J, a 30-year extension of a half-cent transportation sales tax, but it's unclear whether the measure will receive the two-thirds majority necessary to pass.

This election had an unusually large number of competitive races for California's 53 congressional seats, and the outcome could play a role in whether Republicans or Democrats control the House of Representatives.

One hundred seats in the California Legislature were at stake. Democrats are hoping to win a two-thirds supermajority in state Senate.

A two-thirds vote of each house is required to raise taxes and overturn gubernatorial vetoes, among other actions. Neither party is expected to win a supermajority in the Assembly, however.