Election Day Open Thread

Frank-Voted_400Today is Election Day, and people across the United States will be casting their votes in various political races, deciding the fates of politicians and ballot measures alike. This year, there are quite a few local issues related to genetically engineered crops that will be decided today. Here’s an open thread to discuss how they are going, and the eventual results.


Measure 92, which would label some GMO foods being sold in the state.


Proposition 105, which would label some GMO foods being sold in the state.


Maui County will be voting on the Voter Initiative: Genetically Engineered Organisms, which seeks to ban all GMO crops from the county. While the language of the ballot measure calls it a temporary moratorium, the sections that are supposed to include the specific details for lifting the moratorium are missing (but referenced), making it a de facto ban.
Kauai, Hawaii County Council and Mayor Elections. Some of the standing County Councils passed restrictions on genetically engineered crops, farming, and/or research, and some of the council members have made these moves a visible, main focus of their terms in office and campaigns for re-election. Candidates such as Dustin Barca have run for Mayor of Kauai on an anti-GMO platform, and the incumbent Mayor Bernard Carvalho has been criticized for opposing some of this advocacy.


Humboldt County will be voting on Measure P, which would  ban GMO crops from the county.


Is there anything missing from this list? Any reports from the polls? How do you think the races will turn out?


  1. I have no idea how it will turn out. I was sure CA and WA were going to pass their labeling bills. Despite that trend, I will be really surprised if Oregon’s goes down.

  2. I feel similarly. From what it sounds, Colorado will likely not pass, but Oregon is a toss-up. A neutral poll found the Yes side trailing by 6 points, and a poll from the Yes side found almost the opposite.
    My guess is that the Maui initiative will not pass, because the effect on the local economy would be so severe, and the bill has very glaring flaws.
    My guess is that the Humboldt ban will likely pass, which will make it interesting for the local GE squash-growing experiment.

  3. Carey Gillam wrote an article on Colorado and Oregon. Setting up the the whining campaign that will contend that the elections were “bought” buy the g.e and food companies large advertising budgets. The article closed with a guy who claimed that now that the “long buried” issue had been raised. It would not go away. Apparently they are not confident of victory. I, of course want to see truth win out. However, I must admit that if the pseudo-environmentalists lose. I will enjoy hearing the screams of pain and indignation. Perhaps I am a bit tired of the wacko and evidence free shill accusations.
    @ Karl, The ex-monsanto employee Who lives in your neck of the woods has had at least one express the hope that his daughter’s health problems were caused by his g.e. work. Some of these people are so full of hate it amazes me.

  4. Humboldt County California ; Measure P is going to pass , support for this measure is overwhelming despite the efforts of local skeptics. If it happens not to pass I will be overjoyed but I’m not holding my breath. Even when it does pass there are a number of problems, not excluding enforcement.
    ”Measure P’s definition of genetic engineering is derived from the 1995 USDA Organic program’s definition. A wide range of problems with the wording have been identified, such as the unintentional banning of traditionally bred varieties of tomatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, collard greens, corn, potatoes, turnips, mustard, citrus and barley – varieties being grown by USDA Organic-certified farmers.
    The ambiguous phrasing exempts crops like Roundup Ready corn and alfalfa made using conjugation. The poor wording makes the law meaningless in terms of stopping GMOs and could create problems as local farmers find out mid-season that the varieties they are growing are banned.”-Mark Wilson HSU Biology Professor

  5. Chad, If you live there and know any farmers. Tell them to be paranoid. Handle all correspondence regarding the issue by certified mail. Document everything, and seek preliminary legal advice before planting. Also learn a lesson from the jerk who successfully forced blm cops to back down in Utah. Tell them not to let their enemies ever discover that they are reasonable and peaceable folks. That will be taken as a sign of weakness. Just like in the middle east.

  6. I’m here is Oregon, and I have a bit of hope that the labeling measure won’t pass. I didn’t a few weeks ago. But then that poll came out that showed ‘NO’ ahead. And, more newspapers have endorsed ‘NO’ than ‘YES’; including the free alt weekly newspaper in Portland, the Willamette Week. The WW said it was poorly written, and could confuse and frighten people. (Reason! There is hope!) And, there =has= been a lot of advertising, including what I think are some fairly effective ones with the theme ‘Be Fair to Farmers’.
    So, I’m crossing my fingers.

  7. You exhibit a humorous and smart aleck streak of a bit grander stature than what is normally expected of your profession. Perhaps a little vino with those g.e. tortilla chips? Does this run in your family, or is it a mental defensive response to the constant shilling you have been “forced” to do after “drenching” fields with glyphosate?

  8. From Oregon – Measure 92
    73% reporting
    52% NO – 489,241
    48% YES – 460,313
    not called yet
    However, we are getting recreational marijuana, like Washington & Colorado. AND a Constitutional Amendment to prohibit discrimination based on sex (passing >2 to 1).

  9. Election results are being held up in Hawaii because some polling places are being kept open due to long lines in some Oahu districts.

  10. It’s still early, but the anti-farming initiative on Maui is currently about 39% yes, 58% no.

  11. Mayor Carvalho, who vetoed the anti gmo bill and received death threats, won 61% to 34%.
    The 2 council members who promoted the bill and refused to speak out against the threats – one is clinging to 7th place and the other is out. The council chair who caved to the mob and gave more floor time to babes against biotech than to scientists has lost.
    Luxury real estate companies supported the anti gmo candidates. That’s the dirty secret about the anti movement on Kauai. If big ag companies can’t lease the land, it will carved up and sold for luxury estates.

  12. Heading to bed, we’ll see tomorrow – it’s been holding pretty steady, with NO staying in a slight lead –
    Oregon Measure 92
    74% reporting
    51% NO – 587,658
    48% YES – 555,869

  13. Please consider letting us know the economic repercussions of this. Lawsuits? Taxes up due to legal fees. Farmers selling out and leaving because their neighbors essentially just called them liars and accused them of harming people, environment. What do you think will happen?

  14. Oregon here- I woke up like it was Christmas morning to check again on Measure 92.
    Still undecided still at 8:33am
    Yes: 49.0%
    No: 51.0%

  15. Sorry, I meant Mary, Sometimes she shows some personality through the science. Was trying to encourage while bored on out of town job. I’ll stifle the urge. Sorry

  16. Oregonian calls it for NO on Measure 92
    GMO labeling
    UPDATED: 10:15 AM, NOV 5
    92.3% of est. votes counted
    Yes 666,843 49.4%
    No 683,450 50.6%

  17. I live here. So cool!
    So close, though. I was biting my nails. Multnomah County votes tend to take a while to come in, and Portlanders clearly know less about A) farming B) science and C) the Constitution D) “chemicals”

  18. Post-mortems beginning to come along. I mean, I know there will be a zillion that merely whinge about the big M-money (while they celebrate that Big-M money failed in Hawaii).
    But here’s one with a conclusion that surprised me. However, you will see in the comments that I didn’t feel that was enough thought.

    After similar losses in California in 2012 and Washington last year, GMO opponents are now 0-4. Is there any doubt that it’s time to scrap this strategy?

    I’d be interested if anyone else finds pieces that show some more thought besides whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa.

  19. This comment was great. Found on the piece at Genetic Literacy, but wanted to capture it in case it goes away at some point:

    Judy Nonarchi • 5 hours ago
    The reason the Boulder County Dems did not take a position (I was there during the voting) was that the proponents for labeling made a weak case and the opponent spokesperson was articulate in discussing not only scientific safety, but also the misleading elements of the proposition, the detrimental effect on local farmers, and the costs to consumers (faaaaar beyond the wee little label cost claimed by the proponents). They didn’t get the required votes they would have needed to take a position either way. It was the only race – either candidate or ballot issue — where the Boulder Dems did NOT take a position. It was a big deal that they didn’t.

    This is a good message about getting involved at the local party level if we want to bring some science to these things.
    The other thing is: who was that? And can you get them to guest blog on their presentation–and the backstory? I’d love to hear the account of how that played out.

  20. « Is there any doubt that it’s time to scrap this strategy? »
    1.  The loss in Oregon was by a small difference. Next time, the proposition may pass.
    2.  Aren’t the dollars put into a political campaign that targets the whole constituency – not just the believers and some others – a good investment?

  21. Investment? Only if the folks paying for the ads stick to truth. No wild exaggerations, No stretching. An investment is something you hope to gain a return on. In these very polarizing campaigns it seems to me that the only ones gaining any return are the ad agencies and later on the attorneys. Everybody else loses. The taxpayers have to pay the election costs and later attorneys fees. The customers, employees and owners of the contributing companies all lose somewhere. Management is not stupid enough to itemize. But the losses are there. Finally we all lose when all the wealth and potential creative use of it is lost to most Those who contribute to pay for the electioneering. Jobs not created, research not done……

  22. Apparently the courts have overturned Maui’s ballot initiative as being invalid.

  23. Yep!
    “A federal judge says a ban by Maui County on the cultivation of genetically engineered crops is pre-empted by federal and state law and invalid.
    “U.S. District Court Judge Susan Oki Mollway said in a ruling Tuesday that the ordinance creating the prohibition exceeds the county’s authority.
    “Maui County spokesman Rod Antone says the county will abide by the judge’s ruling.”

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