New Hampshire Union Leader reported that seven out of 10 communities have voted in favor of the electronic bingo game keno in bars and restaurants as means to raise money for full-day kindergarten.
Keno was overwhelmingly embraced in Berlin, Manchester and Claremont. Final Berlin voter tallies showed that there are 72 percent or 1,063 residents who voted in favor of Keno compared to 407 against.
The bingo-like betting game won in Claremont with a 2-1 margin or 866 to 440. In Manchester, the approval vote was also large, a 62-to-38 percent split — 13,284 to 8,304.
Keno won in Nashua, the state’s second-largest city, by a hair strand. The final tally showed that there were 55 percent or 5,617 Nashua residents who voted for the game while 45 percent or 4,557 residents were against it.
The same scenario happened in the Lakes Region city of Laconia, with those in favor narrowly beating the anti-Keno with 713 to 606 vote. Majority of Somersworth voters gave a thumbs-up to Keno, with a vote of 420 against 391.
Voters living near the Vermont and Maine borders as well as in the central part of the state have rejected the game, according to the latest unofficial returns.
The Democratic stronghold communities of Concord and Keene both gave Keno the thumbs down with 2,171 to 1,625 tally and 2-1 margin tally, respectively. Anti-Keno voters came out in droves in Dover’s precinct, outnumbering the game’s supporters 1,317 to 1,007.
“I’m surprised that the Keno didn’t pass. I know a lot of people were against it, but it was funding for full-day kindergarten,” said Dover Mayor Karen Weston.
In July, Republican Gov. Chris Sununu signed a proposal into law allowing money from keno to fund kindergarten programs.
The catch, however, was that Sununu left it up to individual communities to vote whether they will allow the game in their jurisdictions or not.