Friday, November 23, 2012

Organic Consumers Association Statement On California Prop 37 Uncounted Votes

Organic Consumers Association
Katherine Paul
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: Organic Consumers Association Katherine Paul, 207.653.3090,
Organic Consumers Association
FINLAND, Minn. - Nov. 12, 2012 - The Organic Consumers Association (OCA) is monitoring the ongoing vote count and election results for Prop 37, the California Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act. The OCA will contest the vote if results differ substantially from pre-election poll results or if there are reports of any voting irregularities, particularly in Orange and San Mateo Counties where paperless ballot systems make voting more vulnerable to fraud.

Prop 37 was defeated by 6 percentage points, 53% to 47%, according to the California Secretary of State on election night. However, as with every election, not every ballot had been counted as of midnight Nov. 6. On election night, there were still 3.3 million uncounted votes. As of November 11, the vote totals were 5,205,044 NO to 4,619,580 YES

"The OCA, along with the California Right to Know Campaign and its attorneys, are closely monitoring the ongoing vote count process," said Ronnie Cummins, Director of the OCA and OCF, which contributed more than $1 million to the Prop 37 campaign. "We will challenge the outcome if the final count indicates more YES than NO votes, or if the results are substantially different from our pre-election polls."

State law requires county elections officials to report their final results to the Secretary of State by December 7. The Secretary of State has until December 14 to certify the results of the election.

The OCA hired Lake Research Partners to conduct pre-election polling for Prop 37. The final results of the polling are not yet available.

"Win or lose, Prop 37 is just the beginning," said Cummins. "We've put GMO labeling on the national map, and we've put Big Ag and Big Food on notice: This movement is stronger than ever, and it's not going away."

Activists in Washington State have already collected more than half of the signatures they need to put a similar GMO labeling initiative on the ballot there in 2013. Plans are also in the works to reignite legislative attempts in Vermont and Connecticut, where laws don't provide for citizens ballot initiatives.

The Organic Consumers Association (OCA) is an online and grassroots non-profit 501(c)3 public interest organization campaigning for health, justice, and sustainability.

The Organic Consumers Fund is a 501(c)4 allied organization of the Organic Consumers Association, focused on grassroots lobbying and legislative action.

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