SEATTLE - It appears Washington has failed to become the first state in the nation to require labels on foods with genetically modified ingredients. Early returns showed Initiative 522 down roughly 55% to 45%.
Before the returns came back, supporters of the initiative pointed to recent polls that gave them the edge. Tuesday afternoon they said they believed many of their supporters waited longer to send in their ballots, so they were prepared to be trailing slightly Tuesday night. They did not expect to be behind by 94,000 votes.
But 522 organizers refused to concede Tuesday night. In the middle of a crowded, pro-522 watch party, they said it was too close to call. But they also couched their defiance with notes of defeat.
"In the face of the largest influx of out of state corporate special interest cash that has ever come into our state,' Yes on 522's Delana Jones told the crowd, "we stood strong, we should all be incredibly proud of that."
The crowd cheered loudly and vowed to continue the fight in Washington and around the country.
It was much quieter at the banquet room rented by the No on 522 campaign. They spent 22 million dollars to defeat the initiative, outspending 522's supporters three to one.
They dismissed questions about whether their biggest donors -- large corporations like Nestle and Coca Cola from out of state -- effectively bought the election.
"This is a clear victory for consumers, taxpayers, and family farmers across our state," said spokeswoman Dana Bieber.
She said it to a nearly empty room, with just a light sprinkle of reporters.
KIRO 7 will continue to follow and post the results as additional vote counts come in.