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