HOUSE SPEAKER MITZI JOHNSON ISSUES STATEMENT ON GOVERNMENT OPERATIONS COMMITTEE'S REVIEW OF THE ORANGE-1 CONTESTED ELECTION

26 January 2017

First  Released: 25 January  2017

Contact: Katherine Levasseur (802) 828-2245 or klevasseur@leg.state.vt.us

Montpelier - The result of the Orange House District 1 election was appealed to the House of Representatives on December 22, 2016.

House Speaker Mitzi Johnson referred the appeal to the Government Operations Committee to ensure that a thorough review of the contested election between Robert Frenier and Susan Hatch-Davis was conducted.

“The voters in the Orange-1 district deserve confidence that the outcome of the election is the one they chose. Democracy means nothing without fairness and accuracy, and work done to ensure the integrity of our elections is an important investment. We appreciate all the voters of Orange-1 who cast their ballots and the many municipal officials and volunteers who have been engaged in the election. A number of recounts this year around the state have demonstrated that recount procedures need further scrutiny. We will be taking that up, and in the meantime it is our duty to make sure that election results reflect Vermonters’ will.” Speaker Johnson said.

The House Government Operations Committee was asked to do a thorough and diligent review of the recount process in order to ensure that state law and our democratic processes were followed with the utmost care.

“There have been a number of times in Vermont history where the House of Representatives has been asked to address a contested election, some of which ended in a recount and some of which did not. The Government Operations Committee voted to recommend a recount, which reflects a fundamental commitment to election integrity and is founded on the knowledge that voters can be assured that their votes will be counted” said House Government Operations Chair, Maida Townsend.

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