A ballot measure that would ban nearly all abortions in South Dakota was rejected on Tuesday.

With 51 percent of the precincts reporting, opponents of the ban had 56 percent, or 87,402 votes, to the supporters' 44 percent, or 69,233 votes.

Jan Nicolay, leader of the group seeking to reject the measure, said the returns indicate that voters understood that the proposed law was too extreme because it did not include exceptions for rape, incest or the health of a pregnant woman.

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Lance Weber, 49, of Sturgis said he does not like abortion but voted against the measure because it would not allow abortions for rape and incest.

"I still feel like there is a gray area in that particular matter, and I feel there needs to be some exceptions," Weber told The Associated Press.

But other voters like Inez Grenz, 62, of Eureka said they had waited a long time to vote against abortion.

"This was the chance of a lifetime," Grenz said. "I'm just against abortion. I'm pro-life. I'm a Christian and I vote my values."

The South Dakota campaigns working for and against the measure, which would ban nearly all abortions in the state, worked hard on Election Day to get their supporters to the polls.