Palmer Votes Down Casino; Mohegan Sun Looks For a Recount

By 93 votes, residents of Palmer, Massachusetts, rejected a casino deal between the town and Mohegan Sun. But the battle may not be finished.

At a noisy, crowded storefront near Palmer’s downtown, casino opponents celebrated their victory over casino giant Mohegan Sun. Charlotte Burns is the co-president of Quabog Valley Against Casinos. She says she is ready for the town to move on from the issue.

“It’s like a shadow of doom has been hanging over this town ever since Mohegan came to along and now it’s lifted. And now the town can go forward and…be a community,” Burns says.

A few blocks away at a quiet Mohegan Sun headquarters, officials announced they plan to seek a recount. Kevin Conroy is a lawyer for the casino operator. He says Mohegan Sun poll watchers witnessed a malfunctioning ballot box in precinct two .

“The machine was not accepting ballots. We alerted the town officials right away. After that point, we observed town officials taking ballots out of the machine and ballots, some ballots ended up on the floor,” Conroy says.

Just over 60-percent of the more than 8,000 registered voters in Palmer cast a ballot.

Official results of Palmer casino referendum