Race to Require Labeling of Genetically Engineered Foods Remains Too Close to Call – Trailing by Less than 1,500 Votes, Mandatory Statewide Recount Now Expected November 21, 2014
With several thousand ballots yet to be tallied and late votes breaking hard in favor of Measure 92, razor-thin margin in initial count has narrowed to well within the 0.2 percent threshold for a mandatory recount
Portland – The latest ballot counts now make it clear that Measure 92, which would require labeling of genetically engineered foods, is still too close to call and headed for a mandatory statewide recount.
With the yes side making big gains in the late counts and currently trailing by a razor-thin margin of 1,484 votes, or 0.1 percent, several thousand previously challenged and other ballots remain to be counted, potentially enough to change the outcome of the race.
That margin has continued to tighten sharply as late votes are tallied, dropping from more than 4,000 vote margin to less than 1,500 votes after Multnomah County added more than 7000 votes late yesterday to the overall tally. It is now clear that Measure 92 is one of the closest statewide races in Oregon state history.
“We’ve known since election night that this race is too close to call. Instead of throwing in the towel when we trailed narrowly in the first vote counts, the Yes on Measure 92 campaign went to work. We activated our campaign staff and hundreds of volunteers over the last week to ensure that every possible valid vote is counted,” Kaushik said. “Our efforts have led in recent days to thousands of Oregon voters correcting signature issues so that their valid ballots will be counted and their voices heard in this election. Those votes are being added to thousands of other late ballots that still have yet to be tallied – many of them in counties that supported Measure 92.”
The campaign’s projections show the current 1,484 vote margin could tighten further before the initial count is finally done. The final margin on the initial count will be well within a 0.2 percent margin – or less than about 3,000 votes apart – that state law sets as a threshold for a mandatory recount.
On Wednesday night, Fox 12 political analyst, respected Portland pollster Tim Hibbits, retracted his previous assessment that Measure 92 had lost and also declared the race too close to call. He confirmed that his assessment shows the race moving to a mandatory recount.
“That Measure 92 is headed to a mandatory recount is a huge victory in itself. Despite the Yes on Measure 92 campaign being massively outspent by $12 million by the out-of-state chemical companies and food conglomerates that oppose labeling, nearly 750,000 Oregonians saw through the No side’s false and cynical scare tactics and stood up for transparency and accountability in our food system,” Kaushik said.
“Those hundreds of thousands of voters, and Yes on 92’s thousands of tireless grassroots volunteers across the state, believe we have a right to know what is in the food we eat,” Kaushik said. “Like the residents of 64 other countries around the world, we have a right to know whether our foods are being engineered in a lab to tolerate massive doses of herbicide and pesticide spraying – pesticides that end up in our soil, air and water, and on the food that we eat.”
Kaushik added, “With the count continuing to tighten we are optimistic that when the recount is complete Measure 92 will prevail, but we want to be clear about one thing: regardless of the final outcome of the mandatory recount, the labeling issue is not going away. This movement continues to grow and build support across this state and around the country, and that growth will continue. Those of us who support labeling and backed Measure 92 see this as an effort that will get stronger and stronger until we reach the day when every American is provided the information they need to make informed decisions about the food they eat and feed their families.”