Were it not for the Oregon and Colorado ballot initiatives requiring labeling of some foods made with some genetic engineering, state ballots this year would be pretty much devoid of food, food safety and agricultural measures. The only exception, besides those two, is found in Hawaii, where a double majority is sought for Hawaii Bonds for Agricultural Enterprises, known as Amendment 2. It would allow the legislature to issue special purpose revenue bonds for loans and financial assistance to any agricultural enterprise. Currently, the Hawaii Legislature is limited to helping only those enterprises on, or serving, important agricultural lands. The double majority means that Amendment 2 must obtain a majority of all votes cast on this particular proposal and a majority of all those voting in the election. The proposal expands on a state loan and assistance program that was itself established by the voters in 2006. A number of Hawaiian farm, business, and school groups have endorsed the measure. The dearth of food, food safety and agriculture measures on the 2014 ballot is consistent with an overall decline in ballot questions this year, according to Ballotpedia, the online encyclopedia about American politics and elections. Voters this year are deciding 158 statewide ballot measures in 42 states, and 12 of those were decided on election ballots earlier in the year, leaving just 146 for the Nov. 4 general election. “2014 has an unusually low number of statewide ballot measures,” Ballotpedia reports. “The last time the number of statewide ballot measures was below 160 was 1988,” the Wisconsin-based tracking service noted. Two of the 12 statewide ballot measures that were already decided did involve food and agricultural issues. More than 67 percent of Alabama voters approved Amendment 1 this past July 15. It ended an assessment refund to cotton producers while authorizing a commission of cotton producers to direct the assessments. Funds can now be used to promote peanuts, milk and cotton. The other already-decided state ballot measure involving food and agriculture was in Missouri. On Aug. 5, that state passed a “Right to Farm” measure by the narrowest of margins, 50.12 to 49.88 percent. However narrowly, Missouri’s Amendment 1 did establish a “Right to Farm,” but it will likely be subject to interpretation by state courts. That leaves the familiar replay of ballot measures seeking to require labeling in increasingly common situations where genetic engineering is involved in food production. This time, those campaigns are in Oregon and Colorado and follow the 2012 defeat in California, the 2013 rejection in Washington state, and the 2014 failure to qualify in Arizona. Based on a mid-October poll showing that support for Oregon’s Measure 92 has fallen below the 50-percent mark, pollsters say the state’s voters are now “in flux” about the outcome. Oregonians are getting a contested Measure 92 campaign, with the “No” side outraising the “Yes” side by $11.2 million to $6.2 million. That’s enough for both to put on a competitive campaign in the state’s relatively small media market. The “No” on Initiative 105 campaign in Colorado has raised $11.2 million and still had $4 million in the bank as of mid-October, according to the Colorado Secretary of State’s office. It has both “ground” and “air” campaigns involving direct mail, voter turnout, net and broadcast campaign messages. Those efforts have been non-stop since early September. The Colorado Right to Know GMO committee has raised less than $442,000 and had only a few thousand in cash on hand as of mid-October. That’s not enough for a statewide campaign, and it’s apparently been written off by those who target political contributions for the organic industry. The Suffolk University poll of top Colorado races reported by USA Today yesterday also contained a question Proposition 105 , related to labeling genetically modified food. It shows the measure is failing 29.8 percent “yes” to 49.2 percent “no” with 21 percent undecided.