NEWORLEANS- A measure that would have renewed tolls on the Crescent City Connection was rejected by more than 50,000 votes about six months after the same measure passed by a scant three dozen votes when it was on the presidential ballot last November.

With 100 percent of the votes tallied, 73,656 votes had been cast against the toll renewal, while only 20,730 had voted in the affirmative. Voters in Orleans, Jefferson and Plaquemines Parishes voted on the measure.

'Tonight is a victory for all of Louisiana,'said Plaquemines ParishPresident Billy Nungesser. 'An unfair tax is gone.'

'It's a state responsibility,'said Jefferson Parish President John Young. 'It's an economic engine, not only for this region, but for the entire state. The state can't afford not to maintain the bridge.'

Despite such a close race the first time, those initially for the renewal pretty much threw in the towel after a judge ordered a new election earlier this year, saying that some qualified voters had not been allowed to cast a vote in the election and that with such a small difference, those votes could have changed the outcome.

A much smaller turnout Saturday meant that only those motivated to vote were likely to turn out and those tended to be the voters who paid the tolls and wanted them gone.

Toll proponents had predicted big problems on the span if the tolls were rejected, but many voters had seen little impact since the tolls were suspended two months ago.

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