Ballot Box

Uncounted Votes Sink Measure 92

Technically, we lost. By about 800 votes. A fraction of a percentage point.
But we’ll never really know. Because this week, a judge in Oregon ruled against a lawsuit filed this week by the YES on 92 Campaign. The suit would have required the state to count the 4600 votes that election officials threw out—because they said the signatures on the ballot envelopes didn’t match the signatures on the voters’ registration cards.
Monsanto and Big Food will claim victory. But they are losing. Vermont's GMO labeling law is solid, and will soon be enforced. Sales of organics continue to outpace sales of their GMO junk food. Companies like Coca-Cola and General Mills are struggling. Hershey's just announced it will drop high-fructose (GMO) corn syrup from its products. The United Nations has declared that small, organic farmers, not Monsanto, will feed the world. 
Thank you to all of you who helped run a spectacular campaign in Oregon.

December 11, 2014 | Source: | by

The Yes on Measure 92 campaign is ending its efforts today. While Measure 92 will not emerge victorious in this election, our growing movement to label genetically engineered foods is neither defeated nor discouraged.

On Tuesday we went to court in a final attempt to have 4,600 uncounted ballots opened and counted in this race.  Judge Kantor agreed that leaving 4,600 ballots uncounted in this election will cause irreparable harm to those voters and to the Measure 92 campaign. But he ultimately ruled that Oregon law didn’t allow him to issue the order to stop count.

More than 4,600 valid ballots rejected by elections officials remain uncounted. Those voters did everything right, completing, signing and returning their ballots on time. If their voices could be heard we believe it would result in victory for Measure 92.

We have examined all other legal options and have found there are none that could succeed in getting the remaining votes counted before the election is certified.  Challenging election results is permitted in Oregon but a successful challenge doesn’t change the outcome of that election. It simply sets aside the results and orders a new election be held.

Given the razor-thin margin in this race, and the failure to count every valid ballot, we believe that Oregonians will never know for sure what the true outcome of this race was. That said, we intend to abide by the judge’s decision and will not pursue any further legal action. We do hope that going forward the state of Oregon will correct this flaw in our vote-by-mail system so that in future elections thousands of Oregonians will not continue to be stripped of their right to vote.

We want to thank our thousands of grassroots campaign supporters and volunteers across the state – they powered this campaign and we could not have come anywhere near this far without their incredible enthusiasm, energy and tireless effort. And we want to thank all of the respected organizations that actively supported Measure 92.

The labeling movement will continue to grow. We draw strength from the fact that we came so achingly close to winning this vote, despite being outspent by more than $12 million by the pesticide companies and food conglomerates that want to block Oregonians from knowing whether or not the food they eat has been genetically engineered to withstand heavy pesticide spraying.

We will continue working until Oregonians and all Americans – like the residents of 64 other countries around the globe — have the information they need to make informed choices about the food that they feed their families.

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