ALBANY – The lawyer challenging New York’s casino ballot says there is not enough time for him to mount an appeal before Nov. 5 when voters will consider whether to allow up to seven new Las Vegas-style gambling halls in the state.
Eric Snyder, a bankruptcy attorney with a Manhattan firm, said Thursday he is dropping his plans to appeal a decision by a state judge on Wednesday that dismissed his lawsuit over the way the words were selected by state election officials for the casino referendum.
“I think the process is the loser … I think our due process rights suffered a loss … And there was a loss to the voters because the language on the ballot is now slanted and partisan and that’s not the role of the government for something as important as a constitutional amendment,” Snyder said.
Snyder’s suit was the only legal challenge to the referendum. It is now up to state voters to decide whether Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s casino expansion plan should be approved.
Snyder sought to halt the casino referendum, or get its ballot wording changed, after alleging that the state elections board illegally approved the ballot language in secret sessions that resulted in words that stressed the benefits of adding casinos being used to describe the constitutional amendment question. Instead of asking voters if they approve the casino expansion, the ballot’s wording asks them if they approve the casino plan to help lower property taxes, provide more money for schools and promote job growth.
Cuomo has defended the language selection, and the judge tossed out Snyder’s case, saying he did not bring it within a 14-day period after the elections board approved the ballot.