The translational medical research tax on today’s ballot appears headed for a sharp defeat, losing more than four to one in early counts of votes in both Eastern Jackson County and Kansas City.

With votes in from 84 of 168 polling places in Eastern Jackson County, the vote was 20,076 votes no (86.05 percent) to 3,254votes yes (13.95percent).

In Kansas City, more of the vote has been counted. With 92 of 121 precincts reporting, the vote is 16,994 (83.44 percent) no and 3,373 (16.56 percent) yes.

The half-cent sales tax would generate $40 million a year for 20 years to pay for translational research, that is, moving from basic scientific findings to actual drugs and therapies. Advocates said the tax, used to hire top-flight researchers, would bring jobs to the area and improve health care in the region.