Talk about a rocket ship blowing up on the launch pad! Yesterday the seven week political drama of the Orange 1, Frenier/Hatch election recounts came to an abrupt and embarrassing end for the Democrats and Progressives who insisted on making this a thing.
After wasting nearly half of the legislative session, creating a tremendous amount of bad blood between Republicans and Democrats, insulting Town Clerks throughout Vermont, defying the judicial branch and the Secretary of State’s office — all ostensibly to ensure the people’s confidence in the integrity of elections – the recount was canceled without a single ballot being examined. Why? Because the very people who arrogantly proclaimed we need to take charge because everybody else screwed up… screwed up.
And, pretty emblematic of what happens when Montpelier decides they’re here to help.
This was tremendously bad start for the new Speaker of the House, Mitzi Johnson (D-Hero), who decided the smart way to begin her tenure was with a bogus, highly partisan attempt to swipe an election from the opposition party. And, in doing so, achieved nothing but an expensive PR fiasco.
Rather than reassure Vermonters that our elections are secure, this gang that couldn’t shoot straight created the opposite impression. Are there issues with the way we count votes? We don’t know if the problems our erstwhile legislators cited really exist because they botched the exercise to find out. And if anyone had confidence in our elected officials to be fair and competent overseers of this process, well that misperception has been obliterated.
So, what needs to be fixed next? They’re from Montpelier, and they’re here to help!
– Rob Roper is president of the Ethan Allen Institute