Monday, December 10, 2012

Op-Ed: Proposition 37 — possible that election fraud made it fail

Digital Journal
Anne Sewell

It seems there were significant “irregularities” in the vote totals for Proposition 37, the ballot initiative to label genetically engineered foods, that could not be explained by random coincidence.

On election day, November 6, Proposition 37 - the ballot initiative for mandatory labeling of food with GMO content - failed by a narrow margin. With 4,277,985 people voting "yes" (47.9%) and 4,835,045 people voting "no" (53.1%), it was very close. Since then, some rumors have been going around about possible election fraud. Food Democracy Now!, one of the groups involved in Prop 37 has been closely monitoring the results as they came in, and they hadn't seen any credible reports of voting irregularities, that is up until now.

On Thursday, Food Democracy Now! received some very disturbing news from a voter integrity monitor. This monitor claims that possible "statistical anomalies" had been detected in 9 counties in California.

Francois Choquette, a statistician closely involved in monitoring incoming election results in California, said there were significant “irregularities” in the vote totals for Prop 37 that could not be explained by random coincidence.

Since then, a team of independent statisticians has started analyzing raw voter data or “preliminary data from 17 of California's 58 counties”.

So far, potential anomalies have been detected in a number of the largest precincts in Orange, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Alameda and San Diego counties, among others. While it is not definite that election fraud has actually taken place, it is important for Prop 37 supporters to be aware that the results of the election as they stand are not final. Food Democracy Now! is asking supporters to stand with them as they call for further inquiry into the questionable patterns being revealed.

By visiting this web page, you can join in standing for open and transparent elections and ask the California Secretary of State, Debra Bowen, to ensure that the election results from Prop 37 are properly counted.

Today, Friday December 7th is the day that county election officials in the state of California are required to report their final results to the Secretary of State’s office . According to state law, Secretary of State Debra Bowen has until December 14th to certify the results of the election.

Here is where the worry arises. On election night, the California Secretary of State’s office called the election for the No side, declaring that Yes on 37 to label genetically engineered foods had failed to pass by a margin of 46.9% to 53.1%, with some 4.3 million Californians having been reported voting Yes on 37 by the next morning.

However, since that date the ballot proposition has slowly and steadily advanced both its vote total, and also the percentage of the total vote.

As of Monday, December 3rd at 4:58 pm, the California Secretary of State’s office reported that Prop 37 had garnered 48.5% votes to the No side’s 51.5%, with 5,986,652 voting to Label GMOs and 6,365,236 Californians voting against.

The very next morning, according to the California Secretary of State’s website, the Yes on 37 campaign had received 6,004,628 votes and edged down to 48.4% of the vote total. The timestamp on the website showed December 4, 2012, 6:04 a.m.

This was an important milestone, as the Yes on Prop 37 side had gained six million votes, a significant achievement. Food Democracy Now! immediately shared the good news via Twitter @food_democracy at 8:40 am PST.

Then something strange happened. Less than one hour later. the California Secretary of State's website no longer showed the 6 million vote total. Food Democracy Now! had captured a screenshot (see image below) and had tweeted the image. They then got in contact with the Secretary of State's office and when they asked about the discrepancy, they were told that the office would no longer be updating the vote total until after December 14th, when the election is required by law to be certified.

When asked why, the Secretary of States’ office claimed that making updates to the official site was “no longer cost effective”. The Secretary of State's office refused to give the number of remaining uncounted ballots and only continued to say that the information would not be updated until December 14th.

This seems odd, since the Secretary of State's website had updated the vote count every day until December 4th, when the Yes side briefly appeared above 6 million votes. While it is still possible that Yes on 37 has failed, it is also possible that election fraud is being committed, and it is necessary to stand up for open and transparent elections and to ask California Secretary of State Debra Bowen to make sure that the election results from Prop 37 are properly counted.

Please share the screenshot below showing more than 6 million votes for Prop 37 to label GMOs, this may be the only hope to make sure that open and transparent election results are reported in California.

If you believe that you have a right to know what is in your food, and if you demand open and transparent election results, add your name here.


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