Missouri’s Right to Farm amendment passed by a margin of less than three-tenths of a percentage point – or roughly 2,500 votes out of nearly 1 million cast. Now one of the groups to oppose the measure has requested a recount.
Missouri law allows the losers to request a recount whenever the margin of victory is less than half a percentage point.
On Tuesday, Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander announced he would grant a statewide recount of the amendment, which makes farming an official, constitutional right – similar to existing protections for the freedom of speech and religion.
Kander’s office created a website to make the recount process more transparent and accessible.
"My goal is to set the standard for an open, transparent and fair recount process," Kander said in a news statement. "Recounts are in place to both ensure the integrity of elections and give Missourians confidence in the results, which is why I put an emphasis on new transparency measures."
The recount was requested by Wes Shoemyer, a former Democratic state senator, on behalf of Missouri’s Food for America.
Dan Kleinsorge, executive director of Missouri Farmers Care, said the recount was unfortunate but expected. Missouri Farmers Care was one of the groups to campaign for the measure.
“We think it will be kind of a waste of the state’s money, because we don’t think the outcome is going to change,” Kleinsorge told the Associated Press.
He added that with electronic vote-counting machines, “it’s not very likely that they’re going to find several thousand votes.”
This recount is Missouri’s fourth in the last 20 years. None of the previous recounts changed the ultimate outcome.
The right to farm measure was hotly debated in Missouri. Agricultural industry groups ranging from grain to pork helped fuel a $1 million campaign supporting the measure. Opposition spent about half as much, largely financed by the Humane Society of the United States.