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November 7, 2018

The New Jersey electorate yesterday said “yes” to the ballot question that proposed $500 million in new debt to fund a range of initiatives aimed at upgrading educational facilities.

But, with 99 percent of votes counted by early this morning, it was a relatively close-run thing, garnering 52.3 percent support, with 47.7 percent of voters against issuing the bonds; that represented a margin of victory of just over 92,000 votes.

But here’s an intriguing element: Ten counties said “no” on the question — and they all are ones that Bob Hugin, the Republican challenger in the Senate race, won. They are Atlantic, Cape May, Gloucester, Hunterdon, Monmouth, Morris, Ocean, Salem, Sussex, and Warren.

Voters in the Garden State tend to be undaunted by requests for large amounts of debt to be issued on their behalf. Last year 60 percent said “yes” to $125 million for library construction. The last bond issue to be defeated was in 2007 when voters turned down a request for $450 million for stem cell research.

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