“Ultimately we will be pleased with whatever the people decide,” McDaniel said.
In a similar move, Rhode Island voters decided to change the name of the state. The full name was “Rhode Island and Providence Plantations,” which some have argued refers to the United States’ grim history of slave trade.
The Rhode Island amendment passed, with 53.12% of voters agreeing with the change.
Nebraska, Utah and Alabama voters shared the same opportunity to remove language in state constitutions.
Nebraska legislators put an amendment on the ballot to remove language from the Nebraska Constitution that allowed the use of slavery and involuntary servitude as criminal punishments. About 68 percent of Nebraskans voted yes for the removal.
In Utah, voters were a lot less torn, with the amendment passing with 81% approval.
Alabama voters reversed themselves from a few years ago and removed racist vestiges of segregation from the state constitution that courts long ago ruled unconstitutional.
The Alabama measure begins the process of removing Jim Crow language from the 1901 Constitution that was intended to entrench white supremacy. Voters in the mostly white, conservative state had rejected similar proposals twice since 2000.
California’s measure involved removing previous legislation that was meant to close the racial divide.
Proposition 16 was a new affirmative action measure. This amendment would have repealed the 1966 Proposition 209. This stated that the government and public institutions cannot discriminate against or grant preferential treatment to people on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity or national origin in public employment, public education and public contracting.
The measure did not pass, allowing the 1966 measure to remain intact.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.