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More than 10% vote early in Jefferson table games referendum

December 03, 2009|By RICHARD F. BELISLE

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. -- More than 10 percent of Jefferson County registered voters took advantage of early voting for Saturday's referendum that will decide if table games should be added at Charles Town Races & Slots.

As of Wednesday, the day early voting closed, 3,578 voters had gone to the polls at the Jefferson County Courthouse, said Nikki Painter, a deputy clerk in the County Clerk's Office.

The courthouse was the only polling place for early voting.

Charles Town Races & Slots officials said the number of residents who voted early in the 2007 table games referendum, which defeated the games 56 percent to 44 percent, was about 1,200.

Jefferson County has about 33,000 registered voters who can cast ballots in the county's 32 voting precincts. 

Both sides have been working hard to convince residents to support or oppose the games. Green signs urging residents to vote for the games far outnumber the white opposition signs of VoteNoTableGames.org, a grass-roots group of citizens.

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If table games are approved, poker, blackjack, roulette and craps would be added to the more than 5,000 slot machines at the thoroughbred race track.

Charles Town Races & Slots has space available in an existing building to house the games. The tables would open to gamblers sometime in June, track officials have said.

Polls are open Saturday from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.

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