Orange-1 recount: Issue 1

The first issue in the Orange-1 recount matter is time and expense.

The Legislature has invested considerable time in this matter: something like six to seven days in the House Committee on Government Operations; six to seven hours in the full House of Representatives; and time spent by the special sub-group of representatives to develop policies and procedures for the recount.

There will be further time incurred in the next few days by a group of 23 representatives who will perform the recount in public view in Room 11 at the State House. There was also time incurred by witnesses and government staff, especially lawyers in the Office of the Secretary of State.

Direct expenses are probably in the thousands, and if a cost for peoples’ time is considered, total expenses probably run into the tens of thousands.

Money is important, but I think the more significant consideration here is time. One of the most important decisions the Legislature makes is how to allocate its time. The people of Vermont might legitimately wonder if the Legislature has been wise in allowing this issue to take up so much of its time.

Certainly if there are significant problems in the election process that need to be fixed, a large investment in time and expense is warranted. Elections are important.

The issue: Do significant problems exist in this matter that warrant this investment of time and money?

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