Election day was on Nov. 5, 2013 for Washingtonians with some very important proposals on the ballot. Initiative 522 for labeling GMO foods and Initiative 517 concerning initiative and referendum measures both lost in the voting process.
Initiative 522 had astonishing support and was close behind the opposition. According to the office of the Secretary of State’s election results, I-522 had 49 percent voting yes and 51 percent voting no. Initiative I-522 would have required labeling on specific genetically modified foods in Wash.
According to USA Today, many other states were interested in the outcome of this particular proposal. Other states are possibly trying the same proposal in their own states. USA Today also said that the proposal may have passed without the $22 million contributions from large corporations to the NO on I-522 campaign.
SPSCC student Justin Carter was hoping I-522 would pass. Justin Carter said, “Someone has to be first and it could’ve been us.” He also said the bill may have passed if the law were written better and more clearly.
SPSCC student Tony Carrol is happy I-522 did not pass. He said, “I understand people wanting to know what is in their food, or the process, but this is a subject that takes more than a label to understand without creating fear.” Carrol believes that the bill would not have accomplished its goal of informing the public about what they eat, but rather scare them into not purchasing certain products. “Uninformed people might think GMOs are detrimental to their health,” said Carrol.
Initiative 517 lost by a 25 percent margin. 67 percent voted no on the initiative. The initiative would have increased rights of paid signature gatherers and allowed them access to more public places.
Substitute Senate Bill 5444 concerning a leasehold excise tax credit for taxpayers who lease publicly-owned property was maintained. Senate Bill 5627 concerning an aircraft excise tax on commuter air carriers in lieu of property tax was also maintained. Engrossed House Bill 2075 concerning estate tax on certain property transfers and increased rates for estates over $4 million was maintained.
Engrossed Substitute House Bill 1846 concerned the insurance premium tax for the insurance of pediatric oral services was repealed. Second Engrossed Second Substitute House Bill 1971 concerned a retail sales tax exemption for certain telephone and telecommunications services was also repealed.
Democrat Mary Hall defeated incumbent Republican Gary Alexander by 1 percent of the vote for the Thurston County auditor position. Gary Alexander was the auditor since 2000.
Sue Gunn defeated incumbent Jeff Davis by 4 percent of the vote. Jeff Davis held the seat since he was elected in 2009. Sue Gunn is now the Port of Olympia Commissioner of District 3.
The winners of the Olympia City Council position 4 is Cheryl Selby, position 5 is Julie Hankins, and position 7 is Jim Cooper