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Backers of Slots in D.C. Plan to Appeal

5 August 2004

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- As reported by the Washington Post: "Leaders of a campaign to ask District voters to approve the legalization of slot machines vowed yesterday to appeal a decision by the D.C. elections board to throw out thousands of petition signatures aimed at putting the gambling initiative on the Nov. 2 ballot.

"Businessman Pedro Alfonso, who chairs a political action committee formed to push the slots proposal, said the board erroneously accused some petition circulators of making false statements and misrepresenting the gambling plan as a harbinger of jobs, improved public schools and better health care for the elderly.

"'Our intent is to file an appeal by tomorrow,' Alfonso said in an interview. 'We are concerned about the board's decision to strike petitions based on misrepresentations.'

"The decision, delivered late Tuesday by the D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics, wiped out more than half of the 56,000 signatures gathered during a high-pressure, five-day drive that ended July 6, according to slots supporters. Without those signatures, Alfonso said he is "fairly certain" that the board will rule today that the campaign has an insufficient number of valid signatures to qualify for the ballot.

"In anticipation of that verdict, Alfonso said slots supporters are analyzing the board's ruling, preparing an appeal and hoping the D.C. Court of Appeals will expedite the case so city residents can have a chance to vote on the gambling measure this year…"

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