(CNN)New Zealanders have voted in favor of legalizing euthanasia for people with a terminal illness -- clearing the way for the controversial proposition to become law in 2021.
New Zealand votes to legalize euthanasia for terminally ill patients
More than 65% of voters backed the proposed law, according to preliminary results of a referendum announced by the country's electoral commission Friday.
Lawmakers voted 69-51 to approve the End of Life Choice Act 2019 last year before sending the issue to a referendum.
More than 2.4 million people took part in the poll, which was conducted alongside New Zealand's general election on October 17. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern won the election by a landslide, securing a second term and an unprecedented majority for her center-left Labour Party.
New Zealanders were also asked to vote on whether cannabis should be legalized -- 53.1% said no.
Official results of the euthanasia vote will be published November 6, and the law will take effect one year later.