After a recount Tuesday, the vote against a Mohegan Sun casino in Palmer, Massachusetts remains virtually unchanged.
Eight volunteer poll workers sifted through every one of the over 5220 ballots by hand, each overlooked by a pro- and an anti- casino representative.
18 votes were challenged, and one vote thrown out, leaving the margin nearly the same as before, with Mohegan Sun’s proposal voted down by 94 votes.
On election night, Mohegan Sun called for a recount almost immediately, citing some malfunctioning ballot machines. Michael Eagan is a spokesperson for Quobog Valley Against Casinos.
“It just goes to show you that the reasons that they [Mohegan Sun] gave for having a recount were greatly exaggerated,” says Eagan, “and the recount process today confirmed that fact. I’m thrilled.”
Town Manager Charlie Blanchard, who supported the casino, says it will be difficult for the town to come together after such a divided vote.
“I hope people will put this behind them. The decision has been made, and we’ll move on to other things,” says Blanchard.
As for Mohegan Sun, they seem to have already moved on from Palmer. The company has said it will look into non-casino development on the land it leased for the proposal. Mohegan is also in talks with Suffolk Downs to operate a casino at the Revere racetrack.