There was a record turnout of voters in Warren County on Tuesday casting their ballots to decide whether or not to allow gambling in the county.
Owners of the Wild Rose Casino proposed building a casino, hotel and events center in Norwalk, but an approval vote was the first step they needed to move forward.
The gambling referendum did not achieve the simple majority it needed to pass; voters rejected it by a vote of 6,545 no to 4,327 yes according to unofficial election results.
This is the second time Warren County has voted down a proposal to allow gambling.
There were strong opinions from both sides of the issue leading up to the vote. Supporters said the casino would mean hundreds of jobs and millions of dollars for Warren County cities and schools. Critics said there is already a casino in nearby Altoona and they didn’t want the negative aspects of gambling brought into the area.
The hot button issue drew nearly 4,000 absentee ballots and brought more than 2,500 voters to Norwalk precincts alone