SAN FRANCISCO—In approving a ballot measure sought by Gov. Jerry Brown to raise taxes for several years, Californians took a step toward improving the state's fiscal situation and avoiding education cuts.

According to the California Secretary of State's website, 53.9% of voters backed the measure, Proposition 30, while 46.1% voted against it, with all votes counted except for provisional and some mailed-in ballots.

The approval is a significant victory for Mr. Brown, a Democrat, who has staked his governorship on a campaign to raise taxes to ease the effects of the state's budget crunch.

"Last night, Californians made the courageous ...

These computerized voting machines are working out very well for progressives.