Maryland Court of Appeals clears the way for slot machine referendum

Drew Smith Sep. 16, 2008, 3:25pm

Maryland Court of Appeals building

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (Legal Newsline) - The Maryland Court of Appeals has removed an obstacle to the state's referendum on slot machines by affirming a lower court's ruling that ordered a word change in the language of the ballot initiative.

The ruling, which was handed down Monday by the state's highest court, showed a majority of the seven judges agreeing with the Anne Arundel Circuit Court when it ordered the state to revise the text of the ballot to say education was the "primary" purpose of the slot proceeds.

Opponents took issue with the wording, claiming voters should be made aware that some of the profits would be designated for other resources including the state lottery and racing industry.

A statement released today by Maryland Attorney General Douglas Gansler claims the slots question has been validly placed on the November ballot and that the language involved is fair and accurate.

Gansler went on to encourage all parties involved with the issue to move on from any disputes and begin making their case to voters.

"The organizations that want to prevent the voters from deciding on slots have now lost four times in court... It's time for the opponents of slots to accept the decision of the courts and for all groups interested in the slots issue to present their arguments to the voters," he said.

The Court of Appeals said an opinion in the case would be forthcoming.

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