Washington count shows GMO measure failing

Capital Press

With almost 1 million votes counted as of Tuesday evening, Washington's initiative to require labeling of some foods with genetically modified ingredients was failing. More ballots remain to be counted.

Washington’s Initiative 522, which would require labels on some food containing genetically modified ingredients, appeared to be failing in the early vote count.

First reports from the Secretary of State’s office Tuesday evening showed 55 percent of voters opposing the measure and 45 percent supporting it. The 997,566 votes counted so far represent a little over 25 percent of registered voters in the state.

The next ballot count was scheduled for 11 a.m. Wednesday.

Only four counties in the state showed a majority of ballots in support. One of them was King County, where as-yet-uncounted Seattle votes could change the results. About 250,000 votes had been counted in the county, and they were running about 56 to 44 in support of labeling. Those ballots represent about 22 percent of the county’s 1.2 million voters.

The other counties supporting the measure were Jefferson, San Juan and Whatcom, according to the latest vote count.

Counties in Eastern Washington had the highest percentage of opposition to the measure, with as much as 82 percent against to 18 percent in favor.

Mailed-in ballots, which had to be postmarked no later than Nov. 5, will continue to be counted until the election is certified Nov. 26.