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Political notes from Free Press staff writers Terri Hallenbeck, Sam Hemingway and Nancy Remsen



Oops, more missing consent forms

This has been the year for late consent forms -- those pesky documents candidates have to file to get their names on ballots.

First, there were the two Democrats who failed to include the consent forms with their petitions back in July. One got a break from a Chittenden Superior Court judge, while the other lost two court appeals, but ran a successful write-in campaign on primary election day.

Now Hardy Machia, chairman of the Vermont Libertarian Party, reports that seven of his party's candidates won't be on the November ballot because of tardy concent forms. Some other party members will be on the ballot as Republicans, but won't be able to amend their designation with a Libertarian label -- again because of tardy consent forms.

Machia said the party finalized its nominations Wednesday, Sept. 13, and the candidates put their documents in the mail on Thursday. The documents failed to arrive at the Secretary of State's office on Friday, which was the deadline for independent and minor party candidates to file their paperwork for the November election.

"It isn't a postmark deadline," said Kathy DeWolfe, director of elections. Her office needed to have in hand the original documents, not faxes or emails. "Hardy has been doing this for many years," DeWolfe said. "He knows what the deadlines are."

Machia, who drove some paperwork (his own and another candidate's) to Montpelier on deadline day, tried to sign consent forms for all the candidates whose documents failed to arrive by mail, but that didn't fly with state election officials.

Unless the party goes to court and wins a reversal, the following Libertarian candidates will have to run write-in campaigns or wait a couple of years: Kevin Volz and Thomas Carpenter Jr. running for House seats from Rutland, Don O'Donnell running for the House in the Calais district and also for Washington assistant judge, Kelly Todd running for state senator from Essex/Orleans, Milton C. DeGeorge Jr. running for probate judge and high bailiff in Essex County, Dwight Duke running for Washington County Sheriff and Cindy Myrick running for Addison County assistant judge.

-- Nancy Remsen

Just goes to prove that the Libertarians just aren't good with government regulation.
Whatever ... it's not about being libertarian. Anyone could have botched this one up ... Machia runs his own business while helping all these candidates organize their own campaigns, all while running his own campaign.

I suspect most have never run before and had no idea what to do, even if he told them. There is so much to remember and do, I bet it was just a newbie thing. Yeah, it's a bad deal, but hey, at least they're trying to make a difference. You should be happy someone is stepping up to the plate to promote change, regardless of party.

In fact, I'm glad you're not running for office. I'm sick of mud-slinging types.
"Hardy has been doing this for many years," DeWolfe said. "He knows what the deadlines are."

In all of the years that I have been doing this, I have always mailed in the consent forms and have had good luck in Vermont with postal delivery within the state. I've never had a problem in the past. Now that I've been burnt, I'll be more careful.

The Secretary of State's office knows that the election law statutes are a mess. They are very poorly written which leaves them open to interpretation. Instead of wasting our time and money on a legal fight that would just distract us from getting our seven state house candidates elected, I will work with the Sec of State's office next session to bring some of the statutes into the 20th century.

There is no reason why the Sec of State can't accept electronic consent forms or even proxy forms. They bend the law to allow candidates to take credit card donations online which is not in the statutes, and they bend the law in several other places.

I'm not going to cry conspiracy, but just blame it on poor luck this year*. Kathy DeWolfe at at the Sec of State's office has always been extremely helpful.

(* As a libertarian I'll throw a little blame to the United State Postal Service monopoly on first class mail. If FedEx, UPS, or others were able to legal compete with them, then I'm sure they'd have guaranteed next day deliver of mail in Vermont and probably to most of the country. The Sec of State's office told me that some mail takes 2 weeks to arrive from some towns in Vermont.)
I forgot to sign my last note. Help elect libertarians so we can fix problems like these so that the democratic process isn't halted by technicalities.

Vermont Libertarian Party
It's everyone else's fault.

Your party slogan should be:

"Don't blame me, I never get elected"
Oh for god's sake. Can't you handle mailing a frigging letter? Mad you have to pay for a stamp? Everyone else does it on time? Are they just neatniks or what? Oh those pesky rules.
Me too ... I'm glad I don't see any of you trying to be elected.

You're like the kid in the back of class that used make fun of everyone else because he was so miserable. You have nothing useful to say so you rip others for trying to be different.

You probably loved how the press ripped apart Dean's campaign too.

Go shave your cat and be with your gang leader, good ole Richie Rich Terrant.
would someone translate that last comment into English?
Dog ate my homework?
Vermont librarians are having a party?

what the???
If the librarians have a party, I want to join!

Librarians rock!
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