Vermont voters, not the Legislature, should choose our state’s top leaders, including our governor, lieutenant governor and treasurer.
Currently, Vermont’s Constitution requires legislators to choose the winner in races for governor, lieutenant governor or treasurer when no candidate gets a majority of votes cast.
While it’s not uncommon for races to end with no candidate getting 50% plus one (it’s happened 3 times in the past 7 gubernatorial elections), typically the second place finisher concedes and the legislative vote is a formality.
This year, however, there’s a campaign underway that could disenfranchise a plurality of the voters by urging legislators to choose the second place finisher to be governor.
VPIRG is supporting a constitutional amendment being put forward by Sen. Anthony Pollina and others that would ensure popularly elected leaders in Vermont by having the candidate with the most votes declared the winner, as long as that candidate has at least 40 percent of the total votes cast. If no candidate gets at least 40 percent of the vote, a run-off election would be held in early December.
The final details of any amendment will be worked out in the Senate this session, but VPIRG is committed to a process that will have Vermont voters in charge of choosing our elected leaders.
It’s fair. It’s democratic. It’s time.