Vermont Public Radio Commentary
INTRO: Commentator Rick Hubbard considers the question: If we amend our Vermont State Constitution so we, not the legislature, elect our next governor; should we elect with only a plurality, or with a majority of voters in support?
The practice of allowing our legislature, rather than Vermont voters, to resolve an inconclusive gubernatorial election is a vestige of power originally reserved to our Legislature, then largely white, male property owners, when our state was formed. I think it’s time to amend our State Constitution to always have Vermont voters complete the process.
But if we do this, we’ll have to choose whether to ensure that our next governor is backed by at least half of all voters casting ballots, a majority – or whether it’s better to select whichever candidate gets the most votes, a plurality?
We’ll have to decide which approach best strengthens our political process to serve the interests of all Vermonters?
We normally have multiple candidates running for governor, and this past November we had seven. Typically, with votes split among multiple candidates, if becomes difficult for any one candidate to secure a majority of votes on a first ballot.
Our recent November election provides a good example of this. Continue reading