Washington vote could have national impact

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by JOHN LANGELER / KING 5 News

Bio | Email | Follow: @jlangelerKING5

KING5.com

Posted on November 4, 2013 at 10:58 PM

Updated Tuesday, Nov 5 at 3:27 PM

SEATTLE -- Coming on the heels of the approval of legalized marijuana and gay marriage, Tuesday's outcome of Initiative 522 is once again putting a Washington ballot measure in the national spotlight. 

I-522 would require genetically modified foods to have labels. More than $32 million has been donated to both sides of the campaign, funded largely from outside Washington.

"Either way, it's going to be a major focus of the national conversation," said Bradley Jensen Murg, a political scientist at Seattle Pacific University.

"If it does pass, I think we are going to see a signifigant amount of national attention," he continued, "It's a focal point around which supporters of that initiative can organize."

Washington recently became the first state to approve gay marriage and legalized marijuana.  Murg suggested Washington's political leanings and the ease of getting measures on a ballot are two reasons so many issues of national attention have been approved here recently.

"Washington is going to serve as a model for many places to have a national influence," said Murg.

According to the Washington Public Disclosure Commission website, several big initiatives are already raising money for the 2014 campaign, including outlawing tolls on interstate highways and gun rights.

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