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Recount for Missouri Right to Farm Vote

by Jean-Paul McDonald, Farms.com

A recount will happen in the state of Missouri over the controversial Constitutional Amendment 1 vote, also known as the ‘Right to Farm’ amendment. The announcement was made by Missouri’s Secretary of State Jason Kander on Tuesday, indicating his office will conduct a recount of the statewide vote that ultimately passed by nearly 2,500 votes.

According to Kander’s office, the recount was requested by Wes Shoemyer on behalf of Missouri’s Food for America, one of the main opponents of the measure. Other opponents calling for a recount include the Missouri Farmers Union and the Missouri Rural Crisis Center.

While the ballot measure was favored in several rural counties in the state, opposition was strong in many urban centers, including St. Louis, Springfield, Kansas City and Columbia. The amendment declares farming a right at the state level, which helps to protect the agriculture industry against outside interests, including animal-welfare activists and opponents of genetically modified crops. The opposition is fearful that the amendment will allow large corporate farms to maneuver around regulations, including pollution controls.

The recount request was expected, and such requests are granted when vote results are separated by less than one half of one percent. "With such a close margin, we owe it, not just to all the volunteers and organizations who put in countless hours fighting for Missouri's family farmers, but also to the 497,091 people who voted 'no' on August 5th," Shoemyer said in a statement.

The following statement was released by the organizations Missouri’s Food for America, the Missouri Famers Union, and the Missouri Rural Crisis Center on Monday, calling for a recount:

JEFFERSON CITY - Missouri’s Food for America, the Missouri Farmers Union, and the Missouri Rural Crisis Center, the central opponents to Amendment 1, the deceptive “Right to Farm Amendment,” are officially calling for a recount of the August 5th primary election results. The Amendment narrowly passed by 2490 votes, out of nearly 1 million cast, a margin of .25%.

Former Senator Wes Shoemyer, of Monroe County, the President of Missouri’s Food For America has been a vocal opponent of Amendment since it’s approval by the legislature. “We are talking about less than a quarter of percent of all votes cast" said Shoemyer. "With such a close margin, we owe it, not just to all the volunteers and organizations who put in countless hours fighting for Missouri's family farmers, but also to the 497,091 people who voted "no" on August 5th."

"Right now, we are at a statistical tie.  Missouri voters deserve a fully transparent and accountable recount process that guarantees that every vote has been counted and that the integrity of the democratic process has been upheld," said Rhonda Perry, a farmer from Howard County and Program Director of the Missouri Rural Crisis Center.

"With the future of Missouri's farmland and rural economy at stake, we ought to be sure every vote was counted correctly," said Richard Oswald, President of the Missouri Farmers Union. "With such a close outcome, a change in just 1 or 2 votes per precinct could sway the outcome."


Recounts will happen in each county within the state, with the times and dates of the recounts to be arranged by local county clerks. Kander’s office will set up a special website to ensure the process is more transparent and accountable to Missourians. The recount is expected to be completed by September 15.


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