By Guy Page
Recounts for three Vermont House races will be held next week. A recount for the Orange County Sheriff race is scheduled for today.
Even if Republican House members won all three recounts, the outcome would not affect the Democratic/Progressive veto-proof supermajority. Republicans would still be left with just 40 House seats, 10 shy of upholding a gubernatorial veto.
In Bennington-1, incumbent Dem. Nelson Brownell of Pownal leads Republican Bruce Busa of Readsboro 974-948. Busa won the August GOP primary as a write-in candidate. The redistricted seat includes some ‘red’ Bennington County towns.
The recount is scheduled for November 28. Busa has requested a hand recount.
“The Recount Petition was delivered to the Superior Court and included one very important word attached to the word ‘recount,’” Busa said in a press release today. “That word is ‘hand’. The reasons for including that word can be described in one word: transparency.”
“If we were to only use the tabulator, there are many variables with the tabulator, both external and internal, that we would not see,” Busa explained. “If we include the hand count prior to entering those counts into the tabulator, there are many variables (including knowing the inputs to the computer) that are eliminated and others that can be determined to be functioning properly (including the calculations throughout the entire count).”
The Secretary of State returns show that of the 2036 ballots cast in the Bennington-1 race, 102 were blank votes, and 12 were write-ins of candidates other than Brownell or Busa.
The Rutland 2 (Clarendon, West Rutland) recount will be held November 29. In that two-seat race, Republican incumbent Tom Burditt is a clear winner. Incumbent Republican Art Peterson leads neighbor and Dave Potter, a former longtime incumbent whom Peterson narrowly defeated in 2020, by seven votes, 1952-1945.
In two-seat Grand Isle-Chittenden, Democrat Josie Leavitt holds a 10-vote lead for #2 spot over Republican Andy Paradee (2,151-2141). Incumbent Michael Morgan was the undisputed top vote getter. The vote is set for November 30.
In the Orange County Sheriff’s race, incumbent Republican Bill Bohnyak trails part-time sheriff’s deputy George Contois by 100 votes.
If you truly want to know the results you need to verify both sides of the equation. A hand recount only ensures that the machines counted correctly. A canvas to ensure that only legitimate votes were counted is also necessary.