Greater Minnesota achieved the highest bond referendum passage rate in three years in Tuesday’s midterm election while operating referendum passage rates were lower overall.

Greater Minnesota voters approved 13 of 19 bond requests (68%), but only 8 of 19 Operating Referendum increases (42%). View the interactive map showing the results.

Bond & Capital Levy Referendums

The 68 percent approval rate of school facility bonds or capital levies on Tuesday continues an increasing passage trend for the November elections, up from 44 percent in 2016 and 54 percent in 2017. It also exceeds the 53 percent passage rate for 9 of 17 rural school bond elections held earlier this year.

This year marks the first year that the 40 percent Ag2School tax credit on school bonds for agriculture and timber land owners takes effect. Benson Superintendent Dennis Laumeyer credits Ag2School for his communities support for the bond question in August.

“There is no way the Benson School bond would have passed without that tax relief in place,” he said. “Because of Ag2School, Benson Schools will be able to replace 90 year old buildings with learning spaces that meet 21st century learning.”

The rural performance still falls short of the Twin Cities Metro Area where voters continue to approve bonds above 80 percent. On Tuesday, 83 percent of the metro bond and capital levy referendums passed.

Nov. 6 School Facility Bond and Capital Levy Referendums
Rural-Metro Passed Failed Total Percent Passed
Rural 13 6 19 68%
Metro 5 1 6 83%
Statewide 18 7 25 72%

Rural Results by School

Nov. 6, 2018 Elections
Approved Bond Referendums Disapproved Bond Referendums
Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City Barnesville
Clearbrook-Gonvick Dassel-Cokato
Detroit Lakes MACCRAY
Eden Valley-Watkins Milaca
Frazee-Vergas Wrenshall


View a list of all bond and capital levy referendums

Operating Referendums

Operating Referendum passage rates continue to show a stark rural-metro divide.  Rural voters approved only 42 percent of requested increases, while metro voters approved 100 percent of the increases. The rural rate of 42 percent is a significant decline from the 67 percent approval rate in November 2017.

All of the renewal requests in Minnesota passed on Tuesday—7 for rural school districts and one in the metro. This continues a multi-year trend of 100 percent passage rates.

Nov. 6, 2018 Operating Referendum
Rural-Metro Passed Failed Total Percent Passed
Rural Increases 8 11 19 42%
Metro Increases 8 0 8 100%
Statewide Increases 16 11 27 60%
Statewide Renewals 8 0 8 100%


Nov. 6, 2018 
Levy Increases
Levy Increases
Braham Adrian
Cedar Mountain Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa
Dassel-Cokato Buffalo-Hanover-Montrose
Holdingford Floodwood
Red Wing Glencoe-Silver Lake
Virginia Glenville-Emmons
Red Rock Central
Sartell-St. Stephens


View a list of all Operating Referendums

A special thanks to MSBA for providing the election results