Ohio voters Tuesday appeared certain to approve a ballot measure overturning some new restrictions on collective bargaining by state employees — with Gov. John Kasich conceding it was “clear the people have spoken.”

Early returns showed a large majority of voters rejecting a law that would have restricted the powers of unions representing teachers, police officers, fire fighters and other public-sector workers, The Wall Street Journal reported.

With 35 percent of precincts reporting, about 62 percent of voters in a referendum voted against the Republican-backed law, known as Senate Bill 5, while 38 percent supported it.

The vote’s likely final outcome was a victory for Democrats and organized labor, who had mobilized to roll back the Republican-backed law stripping Ohio public employees of many collective bargaining rights. The nation’s biggest labor unions spent about $25 million to defeat the measure.

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