by Julie Tisdale
City & County Policy Analyst
Yesterday, voters across North Carolina voted in municipal elections. The full results are available here. In addition to mayors and aldermen and city council members, there were 33 local referenda – 24 about alcohol sales, seven bond issues, and two about local government organization.
Local referenda are pretty predictable. Across North Carolina in recent years, results haven’t varied much, particularly when it comes to alcohol and bonds. In general, both pass, usually by large margins. Yesterday’s results mainly followed this pattern, though there were a few that bucked the trend.
Everywhere that an alcohol referendum was on the ballot, it passed, with two exceptions. Voters in Rhodhiss and Grifton, both small towns, voted against liberalizing alcohol sales. The result is particularly interesting in Rhodhiss because of the numbers involved. In the two referenda, on sale of malt beverages and unfortified wine, only 76 people voted.
The other major category was bonds. Unsurprisingly, most of these passed. But Harrisburg, a small town northeast of Charlotte in Cabarrus County, wins my Town Of The Day award. They actually voted down a bond. While they narrowly voted for a transportation bond (a margin of 93 votes, out of 2957 cast), they voted down a parks and rec bond pretty decisively (1820 against, 1136 for). Well done, Harrisburg.