Prop 37 Not Yet Dead – Votes STILL Being Tallied
It might seem like old news that Proposition 37, the ballot measure calling for theÂ labeling of genetically engineered foods, was defeated Nov. 6, withÂ nearly 53 percent of California voters rejecting it.
But is it over?
TheÂ proposition has talliedÂ 4.6 million “Yes” votes and 5.2 million “No” votes with 100 percent of the California precincts reporting.
But on Nov. 9, the California Secretary of StateÂ reported there were still 3.3 million ballots left to be counted.Â County officials have until Dec. 4 to finish processing and counting ballots. The California Secretary of State will certify election results on Dec. 14. (The Secretary of State does not annouce the winners of any contest before that date, but media outlets and campaigns usually call an election earlier.)
Some Marin groups and circulating e-mails are encouraging voters to call the Secretary of State to make sure everything gets counted. But, as provisional and mail-in ballot counting is still happening, calling the state isnâ€™t needed, Secretary of State officials confirmed Tuesday morning.
Secretary of State communications officials told Patch every ballot is always counted, no matter how close or far apart the â€śYesâ€ť and â€śNoâ€ť votes are for an item.
Many counties, including Marin, have thousands of provisional and mail-in ballots yet to be counted. After Election Day,Â Marin County officials still had 40,000 ballots to count, which has left some raceshanging in balance. TheÂ Marin County Registrar of Voters updated results Nov. 9Â but still has an estimated 25,000 ballots to count.
Good Earth Marketing Director Sheila McNulty said they were still in the process of discovering exactly how many votes had not been counted yet statewide. â€śThere is concern that there still is the possibility that it could pass â€“ itâ€™s not out the realm of possibility,â€ť she said.
She said the local â€śYes on 37â€ť group will meet on Thursday to discuss next steps or determine if asking for a recount is needed.
â€śWeâ€™re kind of catching our breath from pre-election efforts and will see if this is something that possibly could change,”Â McNulty added.
The ballot measure was a costly one and a bit of a David vs. Goliath battle. Food giants likeÂ Monsanto, DuPoint, PepsiCo, General Mills and Kellogg raised nearly $50 million for No on Prop. 37, while the Yes on 37 campaign raised roughly $7 million.
Proposition 37 backers including those withÂ Label GMOs, have formally said that even though Proposition 37 didnâ€™t pass, it was far from a failure as it gained national exposure to the anti-GMO food movement.
â€śPesticide companies led by Monsanto and DuPont, and processed food corporations led by Pepsi and KraftÂ spent an unprecedented amount of money to confuse and deceive Californians into voting against their right to know whatâ€™s in their food,â€ť said Kristin Lynch, Pacific Region director for Washington D.C.-based nonprofitÂ Food & Water WatchÂ in a release after the election.Â The group helped create a star-studdedÂ â€śYes on 37â€ť YouTube videoÂ featuring Danny Devito, Bill Maher, Emily Deschanel, Dave Matthews and the cast ofÂ It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia.
Despite trailing statewide, Prop 37 fared well in Marin, where it hasÂ garnered more than 61 percent support.
â€śWhile disappointed in the result, we believe that this movement to label GE foods is stronger than ever and we will continue to build a robust national grassroots campaign to push for mandatory labeling across the country,â€ť Lynch said.
Proposition 37 supporters are reportedly gathering signatures to put a similar measure on Washington stateâ€™s ballot for 2013. This monthÂ Washington voters backed same-sex marriage and legalized marijuana, leaving California â€“ long considered the state for progressive measures â€“ in the dust.
GMO labeling legislationÂ is also in the works in Vermont and Connecticut, according to theÂ Los Angeles Times.