21 October 2010

How did Arundel Mills voters vote on the 2008 slots referendum?

This is a map of Anne Arundel County voting precinct 1-22-32, which contains Arundel Mills Mall and the areas around it.  The boundaries are Ridge Road and Arundel Mills Blvd on the east, MD-175 on the south, the train tracks on the western county border, and MD-100 on the north.

The people that live in this precinct (and to some extend, the neighboring precincts to the east which we'll get to later) are said to be those who are most opposed to a slots casino adjacent to the Arundel Mills Mall.  So it would be interesting to know: how did these people vote in 2008 on the statewide ballot question that authorized slots?  As a reminder, here is the text that was on the ballot:
Authorizing Video Lottery Terminals (Slot Machines) to Fund Education
Authorizes the State to issue up to five video lottery licenses for the primary purpose of raising revenue for education of children in public schools, prekindergarten through grade 12, public school construction and improvements, and construction of capital projects at community colleges and higher education institutions. No more than a total number of 15,000 video lottery terminals may be authorized in the State, and only one license may be issued for each specified location in Anne Arundel, Cecil, Worcester, and Allegany Counties, and Baltimore City. Any additional forms or expansion of commercial gaming in Maryland is prohibited, unless approved by a voter referendum.
While this ballot question did not list specific locations, some voters in Anne Arundel County believed that Laurel Park would be the most logical choice, and apparently voted accordingly.  Let's take a look at the final certified votes for Anne Arundel County voting precinct 1-22-32 in 2008 on the statewide ballot question:

1-22-32: 1393-904 (60.64%-39.36%)

Now let's also include the results of the three precincts directly east of this one:

1-06-32: 806-453 (64.02%-35.98%)
1-05-32: 570-403 (58.58%-41.42%)
1-20-32: 984-641 (60.55%-39.45%

For the sake of this post, we'll call these four precincts "Arundel Mills voters."  Now let's take a look at the aggregate totals:

Arundel Mills voters: 3753-2401 (61.0%-39.0%)
Anne Arundel County: 149,604-103,814 (59.0%-41.0%)
Maryland 1,482,295-1,043,129 (58.7%-41.3%)

In other words, Arundel Mills voters voted for slots in a greater proportion as Anne Arundel County as a whole, and even more so than compared to voters statewide.  These are the same voters who are supposedly outraged at the Cordish proposal set to be built adjacent to Arundel Mills Mall.  There is a name for these sorts of people who claim to support things, but then turn around and oppose them when they realize that it's being built close to them: NIMBY (Not In My Back Yard).

Regardless of the outcome next month, it will be interesting to see what the true level of support and opposition is in these precincts.
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