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Millions Expected To Be Spent On Referendum Ads

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ)—Millions in advertising. Maryland may not get a lot of national attention in the presidential election, but the state’s plate is full when it comes to ballot issues.

As political reporter Pat Warren reports, a lot of money will be spent getting your vote.

The more than $1 million spent on the campaign for expanded gambling just to get it through the General Assembly is small money compared to what you can expect to see in the effort to secure votes in November.

“It’s gonna be one ad after another,” said Matthew Crenson, political analyst.

“I guess it could sway your opinion,” said Tiffany Parsons, voter.

Gambling interests will duke it out over votes for and against a casino at National Harbor. The referendum on same-sex marriage could run a close second.

While most marriage ads are on the Internet, the campaign will move to television.

“We are the dreamers. We are the dreamers, fighting for justice, fighting for justice,” protesters chanted.

The Dream Act, which grants in-state tuition for undocumented students, may also get airtime.

“We’ve got these three big controversial issues on the ballot in November,” Crenson said. “Probably generate more turnout than we usually see, but also maybe more confusion because there are too many things to think about.”

Confusion is also generated by the ads themselves.

“I’m sure some are helpful, but I think it might be a little bit more confusing to some people because it pulls you back and forth,” Parsons said.

The ads may or may not influence votes.

“To some people it will be, but for me, I don’t know. I don’t think so,” said Vasillis Kouroublakis, voter.

“No, nope,” one voter said.

“Vote my conscience, vote my heart,” said another voter.

But they will tell you who has the most to gain.

“Just count up and you’ll see who has how much at stake,” Crenson said.

One argument raised in the gambling debate was there may be too many machines for the market. Not so with commercials. As far as that goes there’s no such thing as oversaturation.

A fourth issue, a referendum on a redistricting plan, is also on the November ballot.

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