Updated figures show the narrowing of the margin (6634 votes) between ‘Yes’ and ‘No’ on Measure 92 continues. However, absent something unexpected regarding the remaining count or a legal challenge to it, Oregon will not be labeling GMOs. Or will it?
From my last post, let’s assume the 40,000 uncounted votes figures is accurate as of Friday at 5:18pm. Since then, the state reports that another 16,632 votes were counted, leaving 23,368 votes still to count. From those newly counted ballots, Measure 92 gained a net of +1666 votes (gap of 8300 then, 6634 now). But if ‘Yes on 92’ can only gain a net of 10% of still uncounted votes, then they can’t win, there just aren’t enough uncounted votes remaining. But winning isn’t everything, because if you can force a recount, you have another chance.
Oregon law states (bold is mine): “If the official canvass of votes of an election reveals that the difference in the number of votes cast for or against any measure is not more than one-fifth of one percent of the total votes cast for and against the measure, the Secretary of State, in the case of a measure for which the Secretary of State is the filing officer, and the county clerk who conducted the election in the case of any other measure shall order a full recount of all votes cast for the measure.
Current Measure 92 vote count is 1,475,696. Add the supposed remaining 23,368 votes and that gives a vote total of 1,499,064. A margin of “one-fifth of one percent” is 2,998. So the real question now becomes, can ‘Yes on 92’ whittle the lead down to just under 3000 votes?
Technically, they can. But how likely is it?
Not surprisingly, the ‘Yes’ side is winning biggest in Multnomah county (62.37%). The best case scenario for ‘Yes’ is that every remaining uncounted ballot is in Multnomah county, but I doubt this is true. If they fall exactly at the ratio shown thus far in the counting, that only widens the gap. So how many of the uncounted vote does ‘Yes’ need to force a recount? 58%.
So this race is definitely not over, but it will be if ‘Yes on 92’ can’t pick up at least 13,553 of the remaining votes, once again, assuming the uncounted numbers are accurate. Adding those numbers in would put ‘Yes’ at 748,084 and ‘No’ at 750,980, still a clear defeat of the measure but a margin of only 2,895 votes which would be less than 0.2% of the votes on Measure 92. And we’re headed into a recount.
Keep in mind though that hitting 58% is something the ‘Yes’ campaign achieved only in Multnomah county (Lane is currently at 57.54% ‘Yes’). As has been the trend in this particular race, as the trailing side has steadily made up ground, possible reinforcements have been reduced just a little quicker.