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Gambling won't be on the ballot in D.C.; wanna bet?

The Washington Post reports: The D.C. elections board ruled yesterday that a petition drive to legalize slot machines failed to collect enough valid signatures to qualify for the Nov. 2 ballot, ending for now a rushed and ambitious campaign by offshore investors to open a gambling hall in the nation's capital.

Though the drive produced more than 56,000 signatures -- three times the number needed -- the board determined that only 21,664 came from registered D.C. voters. From that pool, 6,977 were discarded after the board found evidence of fraud, forgery and other "systematic" violations of local election laws.

That left slots proponents with 14,687 valid signatures, well short of the 17,599 required -- the equivalent of 5 percent of the number of registered voters in the District. ...

Proponents of the initiative said they would keep pushing their plan to bring 3,500 slot machines and more than 1,500 jobs to a run-down stretch of New York Avenue NE. They said they would file a notice of appeal today, arguing that the elections board had wrongly invalidated signatures gathered by paid petition circulators who emphasized the benefits of gambling, including a fresh flow of revenue for government services. -- Slots Barred From Ballot (washingtonpost.com)