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



How many votes does it take to override?

I used to blame myself for never being able to remember how many votes it takes to override a veto in the House.

Then, last week I walked in to the House clerk's office to double-check and there was former Rep. George Schiavone, who is counting votes for the same-sex marriage opponents, asking the same question. While we talked it over, Assistant Majority Leader Lucy Leriche, D-Hardwick, stopped to listen in.

I'm not the only one who can't remember.

You see, it takes two-thirds to override, but that's two-thirds of those present. Throw in one case of the flu, a dental appointment and a nervous legislator taking a walk and you're talking real math that's needs doing.

Today, I asked House Clerk Don Milne if he has a cheat sheet that outlines how many votes are needed based on various numbers in attendance. He does, and yes, he was willing to share.

So now you can all play along at home:

150 present=100 votes needed to override

If there are fewer than 135, then something else is afoot.

- Terri Hallenbeck

I'm pretty sure that everyone is showing up that day.
Don't be...
They should all take a walk......
Douglas should stop holding the majority of Vermonters hostage with his dimwitted vetoes.
They are too scared of Shumlin!
The ferociousness of the protests against Douglas is hurting the same-sex marriage cause.

Remember during the civil union debate when everyone said this was a matter of conscience, and everyone's opinion should be respected?

People are also forgetting that the Vermont Supreme Court said civil unions were all that was need to satisfy the state Constitution. Gay marriage is not a civil right issue in Vermont now, it is an equality/fairness issue.

I support same-sex marriage, but I don't like the advocates' approach, and I respect people like Obama and Douglas who disagree with them.
The gay community is getting used in this attempt to "beat" Douglas.
Respect is key. Proponents of gay marriage have got to respect the other side. I support gay marriage but I don't like this game being played out. And i don't like those TV ads.
I completely agree.
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