On Election Day, Molokai residents overwhelmingly rejected a ballot initiative to temporarily ban genetically engineered crops, but were far outvoted by residents on Maui, which has a much bigger population.

Monsanto is Molokai’s biggest employer, and hundreds of residents on the island of just 7,000 people rely on the seed industry for their jobs. In the wake of the election, some Molokai residents felt disenfranchised and as though their voices had been silenced by Maui residents.

Could Molokai residents have done anything to change the outcome of the election? Or was it impossible given the island’s small population?

Mycogen mechanic Gene Albino on Molokai. July 3, 2014

Gene Albino is a mechanic at Mycogen Seeds, an affiliate of Dow AgroSciences on Molokai. Pictured here on July 3, 2014, the former felon explains how the company gave him a way to feed his kids after he left prison and how he fears losing his job because of the GMO farming moratorium.

PF Bentley/Civil Beat

According to data from the State Elections Office, Molokai has 4,200 registered voters, and 2,498 of them cast ballots this election. That’s a voter turnout of nearly 60 percent and far higher than the previous election’s turnout of 35 percent. But it still leaves 1,702 people who chose not to vote.

If all of them had gone to the polls and opposed the moratorium, that would have overcome the margin of 1,077 votes that allowed the ban to pass.

Still, about 35 percent of Molokai voters supported the moratorium and so it is unlikely that all 1,702 leftover voters would have opposed it.

Let’s say then that 63% of the 1,702 voted “No” (that’s the same percentage of Molokai residents who rejected the bill this week).

That’s about 1072 votes — just five votes shy of 1,077 margin.

Then there’s the 52 people who chose to leave their ballots blank. How could that have changed the outcome?

Conclusion: Molokai wasn’t disenfranchised. Every vote counts.

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