Although there are still many votes that haven't been counted, preliminary results show that New Jersey voters have given their stamp of approval to a state Constitutional amendment asking voters to guarantee that all gas tax revenues be used to fund transportation projects in the state.

As of late Tuesday evening, early results showed a decisive lead among supporters of Ballot Question 2 with nearly 54 percent voting in favor of the measure and 46 rejecting it. Approximately 2.4 million votes have been counted as of about 11:15 p.m.

Results show that voters in Central Jersey and the Jersey Shore cast the majority of the "no" votes, while the question garnered the most support in North Jersey, especially Bergen and Essex counties.

“I want to thank the voters of New Jersey for doing the right thing tonight," Robert Briant, Jr., CEO of the Utility and Transportation Contractors Association, said in a statement issued Tuesday night. "By saying yes to Question No. 2, they have provided a lock-box that will prevent $1 billion a year in transportation funding from being spent elsewhere. Our state finally has the long-term and dedicated source of funding we have sorely needed for a long time.

"Now that we have it, it is time to get to work fixing and improving our infrastructure.”

Nearly a year ago, the Legislature voted almost unanimously to include the question on the ballot. In recent months, however, the amendment had been a point of contention among lawmakers, with even the governor and lieutenant governor falling on opposite sides of the fence.

Approval of the ballot question doesn't prevent legislators from using borrowed funds for other projects, according to most critics. Although the money collected from the gas tax must be dedicated to transportation initiatives, any funds borrowed against the projected revenue from the tax, do not have to be dedicated to roads.

The borrowing is not mentioned in the text of the question on the ballot, but it’s written in the gas tax law.

Here are the preliminary, unofficial results for Ballot Question No. 2, as of about midnight Tuesday evening:

STATE TOTAL 1,345,413 1,162,901
ATLANTIC 49,330 43,695
BERGEN 172,351 96,058
BURLINGTON 60,424 53,899
CAMDEN 72,071 73,466
CAPE MAY 20,792 15,620
CUMBERLAND 18,718 20,244
ESSEX 68,416 42,331
GLOUCESTER 58,739 61,205
HUDSON 73,469 47,364
HUNTERDON 28,694 32,830
MERCER 60,703 58,666
MIDDLESEX 98,459 105,476
MONMOUTH 123,547 130,057
MORRIS 108,096 71,339
OCEAN 106,905 124,750
PASSAIC 44,046 29,111
SALEM 2,272 6,543
SOMERSET 45,652 39,241
SUSSEX 43,794 29,417
UNION 74,230 64,356
WARREN 14,705 17,233

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