At 10 a.m. this morning, Secretary of State Jim Condos will sit down at a large conference room table in his office with representatives of Vermont’s four political parties.
This five-person group is known as the state Canvassing Committee and its job is to review the statewide election results.
If they find the results to be accurate, they’ll recommend that lawmakers accept them in January.
On election night, town clerks filed “unofficial” results with the secretary of state’s office. Then they came in on Wednesday and reviewed their tabulations. Once this was done, they sent their final results by overnight mail to Secretary of State Condos.
When this process was completed late last week, Gov. Peter Shumlin picked up roughly 400 votes from the totals on election night.
Condos says he’s not surprised that small adjustments were made by some town clerks.
“They’ll go back and look at their tally sheets from the night before because maybe they made a mistake,” said Condos. “ Most of the town clerks, they’ve been working very hard that day on election day - many town clerks are up and at their offices by four of five in the morning and they’ll be there until midnight at night and then the next morning - they have to come right back in and look at those numbers again.”
Since no gubernatorial candidate received at least 50 percent of the vote, lawmakers will elect the next governor in a secret ballot on the first day of the session in January.
“At that point, our office is required to make up the ballot which will include the top three names for that office,” said Condos. “And then we provide those ballots to the Legislature for their use during their election to affirm who won that seat.”
Because Peter Shumlin’s margin of victory over Republican Scott Milne was less than 2 percent, Condos says Milne has the option to ask for a recount. If he wants a recount he needs to formally ask for one by 5 p.m. Wednesday.
“It’s not a mandated recount so it’s their option if they choose to do it,” said Condos.
Milne says it’s unlikely that he’ll seek a recount because he thinks it will be very difficult to overcome Shumlin’s 2,400 vote margin.