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Poll: gaming proposition language an issue

By Fritz Mayer
October 2, 2013

LOUDONVILLE, NY — According to a new poll from Siena College, New York voter support for Proposition One, which would allow for the creation of a limited number of casinos in the state, will be influenced by the language of the proposition.

A press release from Siena says that when New York voters are asked if they, “support or oppose passing an amendment to the state constitution to allow non-Indian, Las Vegas style casinos to be built in New York,” they are just about evenly divided on the question at 46% pro, 46% con, which is a decrease in support from last month.

But when the language of the proposition is used and voters are asked if they would vote to, “allow the legislature to authorize up to seven casinos in New York State for the legislated purposes of promoting job growth, increasing aid to schools, and permitting local governments to lower property taxes through revenues generated,” the numbers change rather dramatically with 55% saying they would vote yes and 42% saying they would vote no.

The poll result tends to buttress the complaint by gaming opponents that the wording of the proposition was deliberately manipulated by Albany officials to get the result they desire: a yes vote on Proposition One.

A majority of voters, 51 percent, says the language on the ballot for the proposed amendment is fair—“it describes the amendment, highlighting the benefits for New Yorkers”—while 43 percent say it is unfair—“it only includes arguments in support, ignoring arguments in opposition.”

“Clearly, the wording on the ballot for the casino amendment matters. When voters are asked a generic casino gambling amendment question they are evenly divided, with New York City voters opposed and downstate suburban voters and upstaters mildly supportive. However, when voters were provided the specific wording they will see on the ballot, a majority of voters from every region and from every party say ‘yes,’ they would approve the casino amendment,” said Siena College pollster Steven Greenberg.

Largest plurality ever says no to fracking

In the same poll, the results of which were released on September 30, voters were asked about support for hydraulic fracturing or fracking.