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Final Push to Sway Casino Voters

casino-wspfldWEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB) – The final push to energize voters in front of tomorrow’s hard rock casino referendum in West Springfield is in full swing today.

A recent poll showed a tight race… with residents supporting the casino by a margin of 50 to 41 with 9% of likely voters still undecided.

At 9:00 Monday morning, less than 24 hours before the polls open – we caught up with volunteer Charlie Rogers as he hit the streets of West Springfield canvassing door to door.

“I think it’s more personal. It’s not like dropping something in the mailbox or putting something on TV – you know what I mean? – or on the radio. It’s more personal. You meet people. People see you. But at least they know that somebody was at their door,” said Rogers.

By his count he’s hand delivered thousands of flyers over the past few weeks  from his organization No Casino West Springfield, Inc.

“A casino is not good for West Springfield. In fact, a casino is no good for anybody. It’s not good for Springfield or Palmer,” said Rogers.

Members of the group wrapped up Monday with a rally at the Route 20 rotary for the evening commute.

“Hard Rock can’t buy us,” said Kate Sady.

For much of the day volunteers for the Hard Rock Casino took to the phones.

Volunteer Linda Williams has been on-board since May, and like Charlie Rogers – she’s as equally committed to the cause, though on the opposite side of the issue.

“The longer I’ve been involved with it, the more passionate I’ve become about the project about the professionalism of the people involved and the benefits to West Springfield residents. As I said I am a lifelong member of West Springfield and a tax payer,” said Williams.

Meantime, Monday night Brian Griffin, West Springfield Town Councilor and Chairman of the town’s Casino Committee, officially endorsed Hard Rock New England in front of the Big E.

“Frankly, I believe the best deal is right here in West Springfield with the Hard Rock, but it ensures competition with the folks in Springfield and Palmer,” said Griffin.

And Tuesday – those residents and tax payers decide if Hard Rock is a winning hand.

Regardless of how you vote… Hard Rock says it will provide free rides to and from the polls tomorrow.

If you’re interested you can call 413-306-5338.

Rides are available from 9 am to 8 pm.

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