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Politics Northwest

The Seattle Times political team explores national, state and local politics.

September 10, 2013 at 10:23 AM

Elway Poll: Voters support labeling genetically-modified food, protecting signature gatherers

A new Elway Poll indicates strong support for two initiatives to the Legislature on the November ballot that would aid initiative signature gatherers, and require labeling of genetically-engineered food.

The poll of 406 registered voters, which has a margin of error of plus or minus 5 percentage points, found that 58 percent of the people surveyed supported Initiative 517 which, among other things, would set penalties for interfering with or retaliating against signature-gatherers and petition-signers.

Elway said in his report that “support for the measure comes from across the political spectrum … those at least ‘probably’” in favor included: 58 percent of Democrats; 62 percent of Republicans; 63 percent of independents; 56 percent of likely voters; 77 percent of voters under age 35; 56 percent of voters over 65.

In addition, the poll found that 66 percent of the voters surveyed supported Initiative 522, which would require most genetically engineered raw agricultural commodities, processed foods, and seeds and seed stocks to be labeled as such when offered for retail sale.

For that measure, Elway said found support “in every demographic category of voter interviewed. The strongest support—highest proportion “definitely” in favor—was among: Voters with incomes over $100,000 (54%); Democrats (50%); voters age 36-64 (48%); independents (42%); voters with incomes under $75,000 (46%); men (45%).”

Both measures were submitted to the state Legislature for consideration in January. With initiatives to the Legislature, state lawmakers can either enact the initiative into law, or send it to the general election ballot. Because no action was taken in either case, the measures automatically go to voters.

Comments | More in Politics Northwest | Topics: Elway Poll, genetically-modified food, Initiative 517


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