DENVER (CBS4) – A citizens group has pored over documents, statistics and facts related to November’s GMO-labeling ballot issue to help inform voters about the measure.
Over three days, the 20-person group researched Proposition 105, which would require the labeling of foods that contain genetically modified organisms, commonly called GMOs.
Those members will essentially become experts on the issue and will help boil down the measure’s complexity into everyday language voters can understand. They met together in a room at the University of Colorado at Denver.
“They do what everybody says they want to do, which is to spend the time, energy and effort to educate themselves but don’t always have resources to do that,” Brenda Morrison, the director of the Citizens’ Initiative Review, a project that started in Oregon and is being tested in Colorado, Arizona and Washington.
The participants are randomly chosen and balanced demographically. The goal is to create as accurate cross-section of the state’s voters as possible.
“They’re just like the Colorado voter. They’re smart, they’re pragmatic and they’re asking good questions,” Morrison said.
As part of their research, they interview experts, dive into research, deliberate and ultimately issue a one-page verdict — with pro and con statements — that’s supposed to be a clear, useful and unbiased evaluation of the measure.
Morrison says the effort isn’t meant to replace the blue book for voters but rather supplement it.
“So as they’re sitting down there, maybe voting by mail and maybe looking at blue book, maybe looking at an editorial, maybe looking at Channel 4 (…) they have the citizens’ statement in front of them,” she said.
The group will release its Proposition 105 findings on Wednesday night.
Mail ballots for the 2014 election will arrive in five weeks. Election Day is Nov. 4.
“Coloradans, unlike lots of other states, are in driver’s seat when it comes to initiatives and enacting policy, so we have a great deal of responsibility and a responsibility to get as much information as we can,” Morrison said.
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