Arundel slots opponents meet first signature collection target
A coalition fighting a planned slots casino at Arundel Mills mall has cleared the first hurdle in its effort to put the issue on the ballot in November.
As of Thursday afternoon, the Anne Arundel County Board of Elections had verified 11,719 signatures submitted by the coalition of anti-slots activists and horse-industry representatives and was continuing to count.
If the coalition submits 18,790 valid signatures of Anne Arundel voters by March 8, a zoning bill allowing slots at the mall will be shelved pending the outcome of the November vote. The coalition was required to submit half the required signatures -- 9,395 -- by Feb. 5 for the process to continue.
On the day before the first deadline, the coalition submitted far more names than necessary -- 23,702 -- but many of those signatures have been disqualified by election officials.
Joseph A. Torre III, Anne Arundel's elections director, said he expects counting of the first batch to continue into next week.
The coalition, which is using paid signature-gatherers, includes a group called Stop Slots at Arundel Mills, as well as the Maryland Jockey Club. The club, which operates Laurel Park, would prefer the slots license go to the racetrack instead. The state is authorized to award only one license in Anne Arundel and has given it to the developers of the mall site.
February 18, 2010; 3:37 PM ET
Categories: John Wagner , Slots
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