Voter turnout may be lower than anticipated in Danville despite hot button issue

Registrar expects 40-45% turnout

DANVILLE, Va. – One local issue that had a lot of people talking ahead of Election Day is not expected to draw as many people to the polls as first thought.

Voters in Danville voted Tuesday to either allow or not allow Rosie's Gaming Emporium to open in the city.

Based on vote counts from precincts across the city as of about noon Tuesday, the city's registrar was expecting voter turnout to be around 45 percent by the time the polls closed.

Earlier this year, because of all the talk about Rosie's, she was predicting a voter turnout around 50 percent.

According to a spokesperson for Rosie's parent company, the business would create about 200 jobs and likely bring in around $50,000 a month in tax revenue for the city.

"I'm in favor of it, bringing more jobs to the area because people are going to North Carolina now. I think the more revenue we can get in Virginia, the better off we are," Danville resident Ricky Wrenn said as he left his voting precinct.

"I'm concerned about it for our community. I've been praying about it," Danville resident Evelyn Hearn said as she headed into her precinct to vote. "I've seen areas that put casinos in. Their crime goes up. Of course, people think, 'Well, it's not so bad.' Our crime rate is not great...I'm all for jobs, absolutely for jobs, but not this kind."

If the referendum passes, Rosie's is expected to open in 2020, but the location was still unclear Tuesday.