2012-11-08 / News

Voters OK table games at Lincoln

City residents vote against Newport Grand expansion
BY TIM RIEL

Rhode Islanders made their voices heard Tuesday night at the polls, voting for both Question 1 and 2 to allow for table games at Twin River and Newport Grand. Of the seven state referendums, the gambling questions were easily the most controversial. Although the state’s majority approved the questions, a local referendum only open to Newport residents will keep Newport Grand from adding table games. Lincoln residents approved table games at Twin River.

A majority vote on both referendums – Question 1 regarded Twin River, Question 2 dealt with Newport Grand – didn’t guarantee that Rhode Island’s two slot parlors would automatically begin hiring dealers. That’s because in each of the municipalities that the casinos are located, Lincoln and Newport, a third question regarding the approval of table games appeared on their ballots.

Question 8 on both ballots was a local referendum, which only allowed votes from residents in those communities. If Rhode Islanders approved Question 1, for example, but Newport residents rejected Question 8, then no table games would be allowed at Newport Grand. The same thing went for Question 2 and Lincoln voters. That is exactly what happened in Newport, where 54 percent of voters rejected Question 8. In Lincoln, it passed easily with 74 percent approving the question.

Statewide, Rhode Islanders voted to approve Question 1 with 71 percent of the vote, and Question 2 with 67 percent of the vote.

Jamestowners agreed with the majority. Islanders approved Question 1 with 61 percent of the vote, and Question 2 with 57 percent.

The other five referendums all dealt with approving or rejecting bonds, and they all passed statewide and townwide.

Question 3 approved $50 million to renovate and modernize buildings at Rhode Island College. It passed in Jamestown with 65 percent of the vote, and in Rhode Island with 66 percent.

Question 4 approved $94 million to construct new veterans’ homes and renovate existing facilities. It passed in Jamestown with 75 percent of the vote, and in Rhode Island with 77 percent.

Question 5 approved $20 million to finance wastewater and drinking water infrastructure projects. It passed in Jamestown with 75 percent of the vote, and in Rhode Island with 70 percent.

Question 6 approved $20 million for environmental management, such as restoring the Narragansett Bay watershed, the acquisition of open space, farmland development rights, local recreation grants, and for renovation of historic parks. It passed in Jamestown with 76 percent of the vote, and in Rhode Island with 70 percent.

The final question approved $25 million for affordable housing. It passed in both Jamestown and Rhode Island with 62 percent of the vote.

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