While voters were deciding their next senators and representatives in tight margins across the Southeast Nov. 8, voters in three states made other choices: hundreds of millions toward construction bonds and other issues for everything from museums to transportation. 

Here’s how those votes landed, with information from Ballotpedia and the latest results from state election officials.

North Carolina

North Carolina counties approved just under $2 billion in bond referenda, including in Durham County, where four bond measures were on the ballot looking to provide funds for public facilities. A $423.5-million measure for school buildings and facilities assed with 83.2% of the vote, and the other two—a $112.74-million measure for Durham Technical Community College facilities and almost $14 million for the North Carolina Museum of Life and Science’s facilities—both passed as well, with 82.15% and 78.9% of the vote respectively.

According to Durham County, the total $550.2 million in bonds may require up to a 2.5-cent property tax rate increase, with funds earmarked for renovations and improvements at two new schools in the Durham District, two new classroom buildings at the community college, and repairs, renovation and expansion at the museum. 

Voters in Durham and Wake counties cast votes on $275 million for the Parks and Recreation facilities in the state capitol Raleigh, which passed comfortably in both counties, garnering 69.83% of the vote in Durham and 73.11% in Wake. 

Voters approved a total of more than $1.1 billion in three other bonds in Wake County along similar margins, including $275 million for parks, greenways and recreational facilities; $353.2 million for Wake Technical Community College facilities; and $530.7 million for school buildings and facilities. 

In Mecklenburg County, voters in Charlotte approved bonds for transportation, housing and neighborhood improvements totaling more than $240 million. 

According to the city, the $50 million affordable housing bond that passed with almost 74% of the vote will fund the city’s Housing Diversity Program to increase the supply of safe, quality affordable housing for low- and moderate-income residents throughout the city. 

The $29.8 million for neighborhood improvements, which passed with more than 77% of the vote, will fund projects to address infrastructure needs in the city’s established neighborhoods and in emerging high-growth areas. 

A $146.2-million transportation bond passed with more than 77% of the vote as well, and according to the city, it will invest in transit access, bridges, trails, sidewalks and streets. 


 In Orange County, a 20-year, one-cent sales tax for transportation funding failed, with 41.68% voting in favor and the remaining 58.32% voting against.

According to the county, the sales tax was originally floated in 2019 and was added to the ballot with a split, 4-3 vote of the County Board of Commissioners in response to hundreds of public meetings and a survey showing that more than 19,000 county residents find traffic congestion the No. 1 transportation challenge they face.

If approved, the tax could have brought in almost $600 million per year dedicated solely for transportation issues, the county says.

Local news station WTSP reports that a similar transportation tax referendum failed in Hillsborough County, a 30-year, 1% transportation system surtax.

According to the county, the funds would have provided funding for countywide transportation improvements.

Voters in St. Petersburg approved an expansion to the Dali museum, home to an expertly curated collection of Salvador Dali’s work, according to the museum’s website, including a short-term, semi-permanent dome structure and a long-term, permanent building addition.

The vote, which WTSP reports passed with almost 75% of the vote, is needed as the land where the expansion is planned is zoned waterfront, meaning the museum’s 99-year renewable lease with the city needs to be amended, requiring a referendum.  



In Alabama, three amendments to the state constitution affecting capital projects by state municipalities all passed, aimed at broadband infrastructure funding, capital improvements and how local governments can finance economic and industrial development.

Amendment 2, which makes it clear that the state, a county or municipality can grant federal funds or other state funding to any public or private organization to expand access to high-speed internet, passed with 78.56% voting yes, according to the Alabama Secretary of State.

Amendment 6 of 10 on the ballot Nov. 8 allows municipalities which are already allowed to collect a special property tax to use those tax funds to pay-as-they-go for construction projects rather than going into debt. The amendment passed with 60.7% voting in favor.

Amendment 7, which passed with 75.41% of the vote, allows municipalities to use public funds to sell public property, lend their credit or become indebted for economic development purposes.