DETROIT (AP) — Michigan voters appear willing to change
the state’s constitution to require a local and statewide
vote to approve additional gambling, according to a recent
The Detroit Free Press poll found 56 percent in support of
Proposal 1, 28 percent opposed and 16 percent undecided. The poll
of 830 registered voters, conducted Sept. 22 to 28, had a margin of
error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.
If approved, the measure would require most gambling operations
— except American Indian casinos — to get voter
approval at the state and local level before they could expand. The
measure would be retroactive to Jan. 1 and was put on the ballot
after horse racing tracks pushed to add video gambling machines to
attract more people to the tracks.
“The only poll that really counts is the one on Election
Day,” said Roger Martin, a spokesman for supporters of
Proposal 1. “We’re very confident that Michigan voters
will vote to give themselves a vote and that they understand that
Proposal 1 gives them a vote on future gambling expansions proposed
by the state.”
Supporters of Proposal 1 say it wouldn’t prohibit
racetracks or other entities from installing slot machines. But
they say it would be more difficult to get approval because such a
move would require both state and local elections.
The leaders of the Vote No on Proposal 1 campaign, which include
the Michigan Education Association, the Michigan Federation of
Teachers and the Michigan Bureau of State Lottery, acknowledge that
they are trailing in the polls leading to the Nov. 2 election. But
they remain confident that voters will side with them.
“We are far short of the multi-million dollar campaign
that the casinos have, but in every market we have spent money, we
are able to sway voters,” said Kelly Rossman-McKinney, a
spokeswoman for the Vote No on Proposal 1 campaign.