Vermont Republicans’ Statement on House Government Operations Action to Supersede Vote of Local Communities
Montpelier, VT - Nearly three months after the 2016 Election, Vermont Democrats and Progressives in the State House are actively seeking to unseat Rep. Robert Frenier (R) in favor of defeated former Progressive Party Rep. Susan Hatch Davis. The facts in this election are clear:
- Rep. Frenier was elected on November 8, 2016 by a margin of eight votes.
- On November 21, 2016, a recount was requested by Susan Hatch Davis and it was concluded on November 28, 2016. The certified recount confirmed that Rep. Frenier won the election by seven votes.
- On December 1, 2016 Susan Hatch Davis requested a judge order a second recount, this time by hand versus a machine count. The judge rejected this request.
- At the start of this year’s legislative session this month, Vermont Democrat Secretary of State Jim Condos said the decision of the judge serves as Rep. Frenier’s certificate of election.
Today, the House Committee on Government Operations, a committee with lopsided Vermont Democrat/Progressive Party membership, sent a resolution to the full House of Representatives which would authorize them to conduct a second recount, superseding the responsibilities of locally elected Justice of the Peace and Board of Civil Authority members, town clerks, the certified election night results, the certified recount results, the certified results of the court challenge and the judicial branch of our state government itself.
We call on all Vermonters to contact their Legislators immediately to urge them to vote “no” on this resolution and to protect the integrity of our election process.
Today’s decision is a blatant display of negligent overreach by out-of-touch Vermont Democrats and Progressive Party legislators, the Committee on Government Operations and state government as a whole.
This action reeks of Montpelier insider cronyism and sets an unacceptable precedent for future elections: if you hold a lopsided majority in the legislature and you don’t like the outcome of an election, you can use your political power to reverse the clear and decided will of the people.
Today, the voice of the voters was overshadowed by the political will of Vermont Democrats and Progressive Party leaders in the State House. If this action stands, voters may no longer be the final voice in elections -- that voice may belong to an overreaching, unchecked and lopsided political party instead.
If Rep. Robert Frenier is removed from the office to which he was clearly and decidedly elected by the people of his district, not only will it be a travesty to the voters of Orange-1, but it will be an affront to the State of Vermont, the very core of our democracy and the legitimacy of our electoral process.