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Opposition Requests Recount In 'Right To Farm' Victory

File photo
The floodplain near Valmeyer, Ill. is almost all farmland. Most of the town was moved after the 1993 flood and is located on a bluff, safe from floodwaters. (KWMU photo/Tom Weber)

Opponents are seeking a recount of the statewide vote for Missouri’s “Right to Farm” constitutional amendment. The measure officially known as Amendment 1 narrowly passed in the Aug. 5 election.

The Missouri secretary of state’s office has confirmed that two recount requests have been filed regarding Amendment 1. One is from former state Sen. Wes Shoemyer, D-Clarence, on behalf of Missouri's Food for America, one of the groups that had campaigned against the amendment.

The “right to farm” proposal’s winning margin ended up being 2,490 votes out of almost 1 million votes cast — narrow enough to allow a recount.

A spokeswoman with the secretary of state’s office said that the office is announcing Monday that it has officially certified the election results for the Aug. 5 primary. The certification is required before any recounts can be conducted.

The "right to farm" proposal generated a lot of controversy. Backers say it's necessary to protect farmers from unnecessary government regulations and mandates. Opponents said it would primarily protect large corporate farms out to curb local-government efforts to regulate water and air pollution.

Shoemyer said his side was seeking a recount because "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."

Jo Mannies has been covering Missouri politics and government for almost four decades, much of that time as a reporter and columnist at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. She was the first woman to cover St. Louis City Hall, was the newspaper’s second woman sportswriter in its history, and spent four years in the Post-Dispatch Washington Bureau. She joined the St. Louis Beacon in 2009. She has won several local, regional and national awards, and has covered every president since Jimmy Carter. She scared fellow first-graders in the late 1950s when she showed them how close Alaska was to Russia and met Richard M. Nixon when she was in high school. She graduated from Valparaiso University in northwest Indiana, and was the daughter of a high school basketball coach. She is married and has two grown children, both lawyers. She’s a history and movie buff, cultivates a massive flower garden, and bakes banana bread regularly for her colleagues.

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