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Returns suggest GMO labeling will lose in Washington, but supporters remain optimistic

Washington is a mail-in ballot state, and up to 40 percent of ballots come in after the final postmark-by date.

Washington state voters against I 522

Washington state's Ballot Initiative 522, which would require labeling of genetically modified foods, may be headed for defeat if early returns hold true. Of votes counted so far, those opposing the measure outstrip those supporting it 536,000 (54.8 percent) to 442,000 (45.2 percent).

Washington is a mail-in ballot state, so ballots postmarked by November 5th will count, and a spokesman for the Washington's Office of the Secretary of State says up to 40 percent of ballots are received after election day. Supporters of the initiative are hopeful that later ballots will put them ahead. 

"This is far from over and we have several days of vote counting ahead," Delana Jones, campaign manager for the Yes on 522 campaign, told the Associated Press. "I'm cautiously optimistic.”

Campaigns on both sides of the measure raised roughly $30 million, with only six percent of that total coming from inside Washington state. Around $22 million was raised in opposition to the initiative.

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