Governor addresses Legislature vote
By Ross Sneyd
October 6, 2002
'The governor said his preferred change would be to
institute "instant runoff voting." Under that system, voters would
rank their choices for governor in order and tabulators would use
those rankings to determine who had the most support of Vermonters.'
Gov. Howard Dean jumped into the fray
Friday over how his successor should be elected, calling on
legislators to tell voters how they'll vote if the race is thrown
into the Legislature.
Dean said he thinks voters would be angry if
a candidate who won the most votes Election Day weren't elected
governor or lieutenant governor by a joint session of the House and
There is that prospect because the Vermont Constitution
gives the Legislature the responsibility for choosing a governor if
no candidate wins more than 50 percent of the popular vote.
call on every legislative candidate to pledge they'll reveal their
ballot," Dean said. "I think we're owed that as Vermonters."
is a good possibility that lawmakers will have to determine the
races for governor and lieutenant governor because there are three
prominent candidates in each race.
The most recent polls show that
none of them has support of anything close to 50 percent of the
Dean faced the prospect of his own election's being thrown
to the Legislature in 2000 when he ran against Republican Ruth Dwyer
and Progressive Anthony Pollina.
That November he did urge just
above the 50 percent threshold and was elected outright.
before the election, he was urging the Legislature to begin the
process of amending the Constitution because he argued then that the
state probably would face this question in statewide elections for
years because the state offers public funding to gubernatorial and
lieutenant gubernatorial candidates.
That makes it more likely to
have a viable, multi-candidate field in the general election and
less likely any of them would win a majority.
"I went to the
Government Operations Committee in the Senate at that time and I
asked for a constitutional amendment," Dean said.
The governor said
his preferred change would be to institute "instant runoff voting."
Under that system, voters would rank their choices for governor in
order and tabulators would use those rankings to determine who had
the most support of Vermonters.
The outgoing administration is
making plans for the possibility that the state won't know who its
new governor will be until Dean's last day in office.
administration is writing a budget that the new governor can use as
a blueprint for his own spending plan. Dean also has talked to some
agency secretaries and department commissioners about staying on the
job past next year's inauguration to ensure a smooth transition.