(Host) The races for Vermont governor and lieutenant governor haven’t been decided just yet. That’s because the official results from last week’s election have been released and no candidate received more than 50 percent of the vote, and by state law the legislature must now make the final decision by secret ballot in January.
In the race for Governor, Democrat Peter Shumlin got 49.5 percent compared to 47.7 for Republican Brian Dubie.
And in the contest for Lieutenant Governor, Republican Phil Scott got 49.4 percent of the vote while Democrat Steve Howard received just over 42 percent.
Each contest also featured a number of independent and minor party candidates.
Secretary of State Deb Markowitz says the presence of these other candidates is a major factor why neither Shumlin nor Scott hit the 50 percent threshold this year:
(Markowitz) "The reason why we don’t have in the top two races somebody who’s gotten over 50 percent of the vote is because some of these independent candidates, minor party candidates received enough votes to make a difference. I think that’s a good thing for democracy. I continue to question whether or not bringing the vote to the legislature makes sense but that would require a constitutional amendment to change and the legislature is not yet been ready to make that change."
(Host) Markowitz says the election of a new Governor and Lieutenant Governor by lawmakers is considered to be a formality and won’t change the outcome of these races.