Rhode Island voters overwhelmingly approved all seven statewide ballot questions in Tuesday's general election but the outcome of perhaps the most controversial one remains unclear.
Question 1, which would give the state the ability to open a new casino in Tiverton, was too close to call as of press time as the Board of Elections was still calculating mail-in and absentee ballots.
While the measure achieved statewide approval by a 215,384-173,807 margin, it still needed to obtain approval from voters in the town Tiverton itself before being officially passed. As of Wednesday afternoon, approval of the question held a slight four-percent lead with 3,912 Tiverton voters voting in favor of it and 3,561 rejecting it.
Locally, voters in Narragansett, North Kingstown and South Kingstown all rejected the measure.
While the final outcome of the vote could change among Narragansett voters once mail-in and absentee ballots are counted, as of Wednesday the measure stood to be rejected in town by a 3,471-3,358 margin, the results will likely remain the same among North Kingstown and South Kingstown voters.
NK voters rejected the measure 6,690-6,423. South Kingstown voters, meanwhile, shot down the proposal 7,037-5,114.
While the casino question's fate remained in doubt, the results of the other six questions were much clearer Wednesday.
As expected, Rhode Island voters overwhelmingly approved Question 2 to change the state constitution and restore the power of the Ethics Commission over General Assembly legislators.
The measure passed with 77.7 percent of the vote statewide, winning approval 290,370-83,122.
At the local level, well over 80 percent of voters in Narragansett (5,328-1,245), North Kingstown (10,290-2,356) and South Kingstown (9,631-2,080) approved the measure, much to the delight of Sen. James Sheehan, one of the loudest proponents for the measure.
"I've worked on it for a number of years, I was very pleased to see it on the ballot, and I supported it vigorously," he said. "We needed to restore the Ethics Commission's jurisdiction over the General Assembly."
Question 3, which asked voters to approve $27 million general obligation bonds for a new Veterans Home, passed with 83.6 percent of the vote statewide (323,882-63,423).
Locally, the measure was approved easily, with 82.6 percent of voters in Narragansett (5,607-1,185), 81.3 percent of voters in North Kingstown (10,584-2,438) and 83.2 percent of voters in South Kingstown (10,054-2,036) approving the measure.
Question 4, a key question for the University of Rhode Island, also found strong support locally and statewide.
The measure, which will allow the state to issue $45.5 million in general obligation bonds to invest in higher education-related projects, received just under 60 percent support, winning approval 225,352-156,169.
In Narragansett, 62 percent of voters, or 4,150 total, approved the question while 2,548 voters rejected it. The question passed North Kingstown by a 7,719-5,142 margin and South Kingstown 7,887-4,116.
Perhaps the most important statewide ballot question for North Kingstown voters, Question 5, which would allow the state to issue $70 million in general obligation bonds for improvements to port infrastructure, passed easily in town with an approval margin of 8,359-4,378.
The 65.6 percent approval in NK was slightly higher than the statewide average of 62.8 percent (239,207-141,417), slightly lower than Narragansett's 66.3 percent approval (4,372-2,221) and statistically the same as South Kingstown's 65.6 percent approval (7,715-4,039.)
Question 6, meanwhile, passed statewide with 67.5 percent approval (258,949-124,702). That margin was consist with the way Narragansett (4,291-2,333), North Kingstown (8,524-4,317) and South Kingstown (8,437-3,524) voters felt on the issue of th proposed $35-million general obligation bond for environmental and recreational purposes, more commonly known as the Green Economy Bonds.
Last, but not least, Question 7 earned statewide approval with nearly 57.6 percent of voters (221,876) in Rhode Island approving a $50 million bond to fund affordable housing. A total of 163,460 rejected the measure.
Locally, Question 7 was approved in Narragansett by a 3,483-3,098 margin, in North Kingstown by a count of 6,497-6,244 and in South Kingstown 6,944-4,940.