ALBANY, N.Y. – A judge's decision could derail the referendum on casino gambling.
Critics say the proposition, which is supposed to be on next month's ballots, is worded “too” positively — stacking the deck for “yes” votes.
During arguments in State Supreme Court, Brooklyn Attorney Eric Snyder, who brought the suit, said the wording of the referendum was approved illegally. It was reworded to say expanding casino gambling would create more jobs and aid for schools all with tax cuts.
Snyder argued the changes were made after the July 29 meeting where the Board of Elections signed off on it, violating the state's open meetings law. The Board of Elections denied that, saying it was approved July 29. However they did say they didn't specifically say or write out the exact language of it.
The Board called the changes “minor revisions to the official text,” and also argued that the case should be thrown out all together because Snyder missed the 14 day deadline to file the action. Both sides had very different perspectives.
Eric Snyder told NEWS10 ABC, “It's not too late, election issues are dealt with by courts all the time in the month of October. And I would suggest if the Board of Elections was so concerned about it being too late it wouldn't have waited 25 days to place the certification, a certification of language they did not vote on at that meeting up on their website.”
John Conklin, the Board of Elections Spokesman explained what was behind the change in the language. “I think that just that as Mr. Collins pointed out, we received the initial language from the Attorney General. The Attorney General provides us with advice as to the language. There were discussions between the commissioners and then that was the language voted was the result of those conversations.”
The judge said he'd need time to review the matters but acknowledged the tight time frame. He said he'd issue his ruling by the middle of next week.