BOSTON — Though it’s not on the ballot, a $1 billion casino looms over voting today in the town of Foxborough. There, residents are casting ballots in a four-way contest for two seats on the Board of Selectmen.
Of the four candidates on the ballot, two support considering the casino proposal from developer Steve Wynn on land leased from New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, while the other two candidates oppose further consideration of the plan.
As the AP reports:
With anti-casino forces currently holding a 3-2 majority on the five-member board, simple math dictates the importance of Monday’s election. The results could maintain the status quo, strengthen the hand of casino opponents, or establish a new majority on the board that is prepared to begin talks with Wynn.
Two of the candidates on today’s ballot are incumbents. One, anti-casino member Lorraine Brue, told WBUR’s Lynn Jolicoeur this weekend that the board has already spoken.
“When the selectmen back in December took the vote to say, ‘No, we are not interested in having Foxborough be a host community,’ and that vote has been ignored,” Brue said. “That’s very upsetting.”
But the other incumbent on the ballot, board Chair Larry Harrington, told Lynn that voters should decide the issue. He said:
At the end of the day, the 11,000 voters may decide it’s not what they want. And I support whatever decision they make. But give them a chance to hear it and make up their own mind.
As WBUR’s Monica Brady-Myerov reported for Newscast this morning, town officials are seeing a lot of interest in this vote.
“We’ve had a lot heavier absentee ballot requests than normal,” Town Clerk Bob Cutler told Monica. “We typically get 20-34 a town election, but we’re well over 200 right now.”
Cutler told Monica he’s predicting voter turnout above 50 percent.
The Boston Globe reported yesterday that in the run-up to today’s election, anti-casino candidates garnered far more dollars in campaign donations than candidates more open to the proposal.
The Globe added that Wynn is planning on pushing forward with his casino plan, regardless of the outcome of today’s vote.
Voting in Foxborough began at 7 a.m. this morning, and ends at 8 p.m.