Measure E headed for defeat

The second attempt to pass a sales tax aimed at improving Fresno State’s facilities and programs appears to have failed.

The Measure E redux is headed for a worse defeat than the initial attempt two years ago. 

Per the latest vote count Tuesday night, 56 percent of voters rejected Measure E, the 0.25 percent sales tax that would provide nearly $1.6 billion over 25 years for Fresno State. 


The big picture: With nearly 80,000 votes counted, 44,722 people voted no on Measure E, while 35,066 voted yes. 

  • The 12 percent difference Tuesday evening was over double the nearly six percent loss in November 2022 for the sales tax. 

Driving the news: Fresno County voters rejected Measure E despite there being no official opposition listed on the ballot, while Asm. Jim Patterson (R–Fresno), Fresno Mayor Jerry Dyer and others were listed as supporters. 

  • Despite the lack of official ballot opposition, a bipartisan opposition group put the full court press on over the last month to persuade voters to reject the tax. 
  • Major issues that plagued Measure E included the potential for the citizen’s oversight board that would oversee the tax to give themselves up to an $80,000 salary and the lack of a codified project list in the measure’s actual language. 
  • Fresno State gave Measure E supporters a proposed project list that would have split up the tax revenue at an 85-15 clip for academic purposes and athletics, respectively. 
  • Yet the money would have been in the hands of the oversight committee, ultimately leaving voters without a guarantee on what the tax revenue would have been spent on. 
  • The Measure E campaign also took a different approach this year by placing it on the March primary ballot, as opposed to the November general election that it failed in in 2022. 
  • While it remains to be seen what the total voter turnout is for Tuesday’s election, over 221,000 people voted on the measure in 2022, and it was largely supported by Democrats. As of Tuesday night, Republican presidential candidates received 10,000 more votes than Democratic presidential candidates.
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