By Kiera Morgan
Lincoln County Clerk Dana Jenkins tallied the final results of the May 16th special election. Measure 21-177, which prohibits aerial spraying and creates rights of local citizens passed with a final vote of 6994 yes votes to 6933 no votes. After the election there were still about 100 ballots that had not been signed and the county clerk’s office had to contact those voters before they could be counted. The county clerk’s office has 30-days to make all the final votes official.
The measure makes it unlawful for any “corporation” to “engage in aerial spraying of pesticides,’’ as defined within measure. Opponents of the measure have said that this will have a severe effect on businesses within Lincoln County, as the measure was written without a clear definition of aerial spraying. There are concerns that aerial spraying would affect the fishing industry who spray their boats when they are painted with pesticides to prevent muscles and other organisms from attaching to the bottom of the boats.
Lincoln County Sheriff Landers spoke out against the measure as it authorizes direct action by any person if county or courts fail to enforce law. That failure to enforce or defend the law by County or Court authorizes a person to undertake “direct action” defined as activities to directly enforce rights. Prohibits, and compels court to dismiss, any legal action against those engaged in direct action. Proponents of the measure have said this would only be a peaceful action. Lincoln County is the first county in the United States to ban aerial spraying of pesticides by the vote of the people.