Court restores challenge to slot machine amendment

Published August 9, 2006

TALLAHASSEE - A lawsuit challenging voter approval of a state constitutional amendment allowing two South Florida counties to permit slot machine gambling was reinstated Tuesday.

A three-judge panel of the 1st District Court of Appeal ruled 2-1 that a favorable popular vote did not automatically validate the constitutional amendment.

The suit by the Humane Society of the United States and GREY2K USA, a greyhound protection group, claims slot backers submitted thousands of forged signatures in a petition campaign that put the measure on the 2004 ballot.

Circuit Judge Nikki Ann Clark of Tallahassee had tossed out the suit with a finding that the election cured any improper signature gathering. The appellate judges sent the case back to Clark for trial to determine if enough signatures were submitted.