Palmer votes down casino proposal, - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

Palmer residents vote down casino proposal, Mohegan wants recount

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Mohegan Sun's $1 billion casino proposal has been rejected by Palmer voters with 2,657 striking it down winning by a margin of 93 votes. 

It was a dramatic day in Palmer on Tuesday to say the least. Casino opponents cheered and accepted victory, while Mohegan said they're asking for a recount after reports of ballot counting glitches. 

"We're obviously disappointed in today's outcome as it currently stands," said Mohegan Sun Chief Executive Officer Mitch Etess. 

Mohegan Sun officials weren't expecting a loss Tuesday night as voters apparently rejected their proposal, but they're not giving up yet. 

"We've also seen technical problems with the voting machine in precinct two that are very, very troubling to us. We'll be asking the Town of Palmer for a hand recount of the ballots in today's election," continued Etess. 

They said those problems include a machine not accepting ballots in precinct two. 

They also said they observed town officials taking ballots out of the machine, some of those ending up on the floor. 

The town clerk's office declined to comment tonight on whether those reports are true or whether or not they'll be recounting. 

Just a couple of blocks away though, casino opponents celebrated.

Jean Anderson of the Quaboag Valley Against Casinos said Tuesday's vote hasn't hit her yet. 

"They did an awful lot of work in helping and at times it was stressful, but we did it. I think it's still sinking in," said Anderson. 

Casino opponent Carol Gumbleton said her fellow opponents have worked hard for this vote. 

"We were able to stand up for what we felt and took it. We are so pleased and thankful," said Gumbleton. 

In the meantime, Mohegan will begin their quest for a recount starting Wednesday. 

"We really don't know the actual outcome yet, so I can't say I'm disappointed until it's resolved because it was very close," said Etess. 

Mohegan Sun was competing with MGM Springfield for the lone Western Mass casino license.

Springfield voters approved MGM's casino proposal back in July.

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