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GMO vote recount still shows little change

Local report

While Jackson County has not filed the results of its recount of the outcome of Measure 92, the GMO labeling initiative, results from other counties indicate the measure is not making headway in the count. According to latest figures posted on the Oregon Secretary of State's website, the measure had lost two votes after the recounts of about two-thirds of the counties were posted.

Multnomah County, which had supported the measure in the greatest numbers, posted results Friday showing an increase of 25 votes in support of the measure. But totals from the other 21 counties that have reported in show the measure had lost a total of 27 votes.

The measure, which was voted on in the November 4 election, was trailing by 812 votes out of 1.5 million cast after the votes were certified. That triggered an automatic recount at all 36 Oregon counties

Recounts from the 22 counties have turned up few changes: 48 more votes in favor of the measure and 50 more against. Most counties recorded only single-digit changes in their recounts.

Like Multnomah, Josephine County  recorded an additional 25 votes for the measure, with a final total of 17,584 no votes  and 16,911 yes votes, according to figures from the county clerk's office. That represented 71 additional no votes and 96 additional yes votes.

Josephine County Clerk Art Harvey told the Grants Pass Daily Courier that results usually change during a hand recount because of the way ballot-counting machines deal with overvotes and undervotes. Sometimes the machines don't recognize votes that were marked in too lightly or reject ballots in which a voter changed his or her mind and erased the first vote, but left some marking visible.

Measure 92 would have required most packaged foods, along with bins and other containers, to carry a notice if they included genetically modified organisms. The campaign involving the measure set a record as the most expensive in state history. Opponents raised more than $20 million to defeat the measure while supporters raised more than $8 million.