The third issue in the Orange-1 recount is whether or not the executive branch of Vermont government is properly doing its job in this matter.
The Office of the Secretary of State plays a major role in overseeing elections. In addition, in the instance where “a candidate for the office of representative to the general assembly in the general election … [requests] the house of representatives to exercise its constitutional authority to judge of the elections and qualifications of its own members,” as Susan Hatch Davis did in this instance, Vermont law provides a role for the Office of the Attorney General:
the attorney general … shall investigate the facts, take such depositions as may be necessary, prepare an opinion on the law and facts, and send his or her report and opinion to the secretary of state…
Both of the above quotes are from 17 V.S.A. § 2605.
I find no issues with the work of the Office of the Secretary of State in this matter. From everything I have seen, their work is exemplary and Vermonters should be proud.
The Office of the Attorney General completed a report dated January 10, 2017 that responded to the requirement in 17 V.S.A. § 2605. That report can be found here.
The report of the Office of the Attorney General is an excellent discussion of the law. I found this report useful in understanding the current matter, and I will come back to this report in a subsequent post. In this post my issue is that the Office of the Attorney General did no investigation of the facts, took no depositions, and prepared no opinion on the facts. This put the burden on the House of Representatives to investigate the facts.
The issue: Does the report of the Office of the Attorney General adequately respond to the requirements of Vermont law?