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Rev. Don Fothergill Leads Local Christian Coalition Against Issue 3 in Ohio

More than forty local Christian ministers and lay leaders have joined forces to persuade state voters to dismiss Issue 3, a ballot issue that would permit casino gaming in the state of Ohio in the November 3rd, 2009 election.

The Reverend Don Fothergill of Toledo's Washington Church, who is spearheading the effort, enlisted the help of ministers and lay leaders to sign a statement against the casino plan.

The impromptu organization follows the Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance, which declared its criticism to the casino plan on October 5th, 2009. Fothergill cited a number of concerns for keeping casino facilities out of Ohio, including the threat of increase in gambling addiction, a negative effect on area establishments and potential increases in bankruptcies and crime. He also said that casino facilities will produce fewer permanent employment opportunities that what supporters claim.

Fothergill said that they live in communities where they are all intertwined. He said that even one ruined life will affect all of them. Signatories on the statement include priests, ministers and lay officials representing the local Christian community.

The amendment on the state constitution would permit casinos in four cities in Ohio, including one in Toledo to be constructed on Miami Street in East Toledo west of the I-75 interchange.

Supporters say that the casinos will create 34,000 employment opportunities statewide and produce $651 million annually in tax revenues including nearly $6.4 million for Lucas County, $11.3 million for Toledo and $8.7 million for public schools in Lucas County. Aside from that, the Lucas County Board of Elections is warning absentee state voters to double check their ballots before sending them to the board.

Director Linda Howe stated that about two hundred ballots have been received with mistakes that automatically disqualify them from being considered. She said that some of the errors include failure to place their signature on the envelope, not filing in all the necessary information and carelessly leaving the ballot outside of the security envelope.

Howe said that most of the time, state voters are returning their ballots with no problems but they are still receiving about 5% ballots that are coming back with a lot of errors. In the primary election on March 2008, more than nine hundred ballots were disqualified because voters failed to insert their ballots in the security envelope.

Howe said that the Board of Elections is trying to reach state voters who sent in ballots with errors to allow them to correct the mistakes.


11/04/2009 23:09 PM


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