Your vote can make a big difference

Understanding this year's ballot questions

EASTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – We’re just 5 days away from election night, and 22News is working for you to focus on the 2014 ballot questions, and how your vote can make a big difference.

Question 3 on next week’s ballot could mean big changes, specifically for western Massachusetts, when it comes to the casino question. It was a hot topic among voters at a ballot question forum Wednesday night in Easthampton.

“They’re going to displace jobs, they’re going to take jobs out of the community, and the net effect will not be positive,” said Steve Abdow of Amherst. “It’s not worth the problems.”

Although many hope to keep MGM Springfield out of the state, some said they could see the benefits.

“I do believe there are some degrees of injustice to all the people that put their feet forward and their best effort forward to bring a casino to Springfield,” said Greg Rolland of Easthampton. “There are a lot of businesses that are lined up to do partnerships and a lot of people that would excited about working for the casinos.”

When you hit the polls you want to make sure you vote correctly. On ballot question three, you’ll vote NO if you want to keep the current law, which allows gaming in the state. You’ll vote YES if you do not want casinos.

That logic can be confusing, and it also applies to ballot question one, which is asks if you want to eliminate the state’s automatic gas tax. The current law increases the price of gas each time the cost of living goes up. That money funds road projects in Massachusetts.

“I can see how people definitely think it’s confusing because no means keeping something in place, and yes means undoing it,” said Josh Ostroff, with the group Transportation for Massachusetts.

With the other two ballot questions, earned sick time for employees and the bottle bill expansion, you’ll vote YES if you want to pass the new laws, NO if you do not.

For detailed information about each ballot question, click here.

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