What appear to be legitimate concerns about voter fraud have arisen in California’s Proposition 37 vote. A Yes vote would require labeling of products containing GMOs. On a national level, due to the vigorous efforts of agribusiness companies and their bought and paid for allies USDA, FDA, and most members of Congress, including Al Franken, GMO labeling was voted down earlier this year. I was hoping that at least one state would require GMO labeling, like the over 50 countries worldwide that either ban GMOs altogether or require labeling. Those countries that allow GMO crops all regulate them heavily because they know the dangers. USDA, the FDA, and Congress care nothing for the US to have good food or for consumers to have choices, as in knowing if their food contains GMOs. Initially, we were told that Prop 37 lost by a wide margin. Now the plot thickens.
Food Democracy Now! has just put out an important message on this issue and I am reproducing it below. Please take whatever action you can. This is too important to ignore.
While reports of election fraud have circulated on the Internet, at Food Democracy Now! we have been closely monitoring the results as they’ve come in and had not heard any credible reports of possible voting irregularities – until now.
Yesterday, we received some disturbing news from a voter integrity monitor, claiming that possible “statistical anomalies” had been detected in 9 counties in California.
According to Francois Choquette, a statistician closely monitoring incoming election results in California, there were significant “irregularities” in the vote totals for prop 37 to label genetically engineered foods that could not be explained by random coincidence.
Right now a team of independent statisticians are analyzing raw voter data or “preliminary data from 17 of California’s 58 counties”. 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.
And while Food Democracy Now! can’t say if election fraud has taken place, we want Prop 37 supporters to be aware of the fact that the results from the election are not over and we’re asking you to be vigilant in standing with us as we call for further inquiry into these questionable patterns.
The next 24 hours are critical. Right now county election officials in the state of California are required to report their final results to the Secretary of State’s office by (today) Friday December 7th. According to state law, Secretary of State Debra Bowen has until December 14th to certify the results of the election.
And this is where we have some concern.
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. Since then the ballot proposition to label genetically engineered foods has slowly and steadily advanced both its vote total and percentage of the total vote.
California SOS Website Reports 6 Million Votes for Prop 37, Then Votes Disappear
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 following morning, ccording 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 California Secretary of State’s website showed December 4, 2012, 6:04 a.m.
Six million votes is an important milestone for the election and the growing movement of millions of Americans that support labeling of genetically engineered foods across the country that were inspired by Prop 37.
I immediately shared the news via Twitter @food_democracy at 8:40 am PST.
Less than an hour later, the site was no longer showing the 6 million vote total. After capturing a screenshot, I Tweeted the image and then contacted the Secretary State’s office.
When asked about the discrepancy, the Secretary of State’s office claimed their office would no longer being 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 were “no longer cost effective”.
After several calls to the Secretary of State’s office, their staff refused to give the number of remaining uncounted ballots and only stated that the latest vote totals were posted on the website and this 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.