Erica Barnett of Publicola reports:
In a new Elway Poll, voters are strongly backing two initiatives—one backed by Tim Eyman, which would impose penalties for interfering with signature gatherers, and one that would require food companies to label genetically engineered foods and seeds.
The survey found that two out of three voters said they plan to vote for the GMO initiative, I-522, including 43 percent who said they would “definitely” vote for the proposal. Among those who voted in three of the four most recent elections, 64 percent said they would vote for I-522, compared to 24 percent who said they would vote against it.
Monsanto, the food engineering conglomerate behind the herbicide Roundup and “Roundup-Ready” GMO crops, has put $4 million into the nearly $8 million anti-522 campaign; the pro-labeling camp has raise about $3.3 million, including nearly $1 million from California-based Dr. Bronner’s Soaps.
The Eyman initiative, I-517, would set penalties for people who harass signature gatherers and would give campaigns more time to gather signatures. Opponents say the Eyman measure would infringe on business owners’ rights and allow signature gatherers to harass citizens.
In the poll, 58 percent were leaning or “definitely” planning to vote yes, with 22 percent leaning or definitely planning to vote no and 20 percent undecided.