Cranston voters overwhelmingly approve $40M school bond

Turnout barely scrapes 4 percent


A trickle of Cranston voters turned out to vote overwhelmingly, nearly 4 to 1, to approve a $40 million school bond referendum.

According to the Rhode Island Board of Elections’ preliminary results, 1,850 voters cast ballots to approve the referendum in Cranston (78.56%); 505 voters cast ballots to reject the bond (21.44%).

Turnout for the June 4 referendum, however, was less than 4% of eligible Cranston voters. Only 2,358 ballots were cast; the city has 60,181 registered voters.

Nick Lima, Cranston’s Registrar and Director of Elections, said there may be around 50-60 mail-in ballots outstanding, and around 7 provisional ballots, but not nearly “enough to sway the election, in any way.”

“Those categories of ballots may be added to the unofficial results tomorrow and Thursday (and the following days as applicable), as they are received and/or adjudicated,” Lima said Tuesday night. “We won’t have the exact total of number of outstanding uncounted ballots immediately although it is likely in the 65 to 75 range including provisional and mail ballots.”

Asked about the low turnout, Lima answered with his “favorite quote from the West Wing: ‘Decisions are made by those who show up.’”

On June 4, fewer than four percent (around 0.39%) of voters decided for 100% of the city’s taxpayers.

“On behalf of our 11,000-plus students I would like to thank the voters of Cranston for their support for the $40 million School Bond Referendum,” said School Committee Chairperson Mike Traficante. “A special thank you to the Mayor and Cranston City Council for their continuous support for our educational projects over the past few years. The School Department can now move forward and complete several major school construction projects to include Gladstone and Eden Park Elementary Schools, the AES Academy, as well as several additional construction projects at our two high schools and several elementary schools.”

The Cranston School District released a statement after the results were known: “We are so grateful to all of the Cranston residents who came out to support our schools and the facilities work to be done. Our schools bring families and a sense of vitality to Cranston and an investment in our schools is an investment for our city. We are proud of the work we have done to create better learning environments for students to and hope the work continues.”

“I am extremely happy to see this pass,” School Committee member Domenic Fusco Jr. said early Wednesday morning.

According to Fusco, and other city and school officials, the bond will go toward funding a long list of school capital projects, allowing the district to recoup maximum reimbursements from state government.

“As I mentioned in my letter, this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for Cranston to take advantage of,” Fusco said. “Cranston School department continues to move our schools into the 21st Century. I am proud to be a part of that process.”

Cranston Mayor Kenneth Hopkins thanked the voters.

“Thank you to all of the voters who got out to make their voice heard in Tuesday’s election,” Hopkins said. “With this approval, the Cranston School Department will have the necessary fiscal support to move forward with crucial projects across the district. This includes the successful completion of the Gladstone Elementary School and Phase 3 of Eden Park Elementary School, as well as acquisition and renovation of the Apprentice Exploration School (AES). The city’s commitment to high-quality education remains steadfast, and this vote is a testament of Cranston’s dedication to our children’s future.”


  • Ballots Cast:        2,358
  • Registered Voters:          60,181

City-wide Results

  • Approve: 78.56%, 1,850 votes
  • Reject: 21.44%, 505 votes

Results by Polling Location

HOPE CHURCH (Precinct 0704)

  • Approve: 75.93%, 369 votes
  • Reject: 24.07%, 117 votes

KELLEY-GAZZERRO VFW POST 2812 (Precinct 0708)

  • Approve: 75.38%, 245 votes
  • Reject: 24.62%, 80 votes


  • Approve: 77.51%, 393 votes
  • Reject: 22.49%, 114 votes


  • Approve: 80.69%, 117 votes
  • Reject: 19.31%, 28 votes


  • Approve: 76.31%, 306 votes
  • Reject: 23.69%, 95 votes


  • Approve: 85.54%, 420 votes
  • Reject: 14.46%, 71

SOURCE: RI Board of Elections


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