Thursday, August 26, 2010

Still Too Close to Call

The latest Times Argus update shows that with all precincts counted, Shumlin has won by 178 votes over Racine and 390 votes over Markowitz. 73,000 votes were cast, a far higher turnout than expected.

Matt Dunne, who lives in my area, gathered 15,000 votes to come in fourth. John Gregg of the Valley News wrote: Dunne Says He's Not Done With Politics. (Unfortunately, the Valley News did not put that article on-line.) In that article, Gregg noted that observers before the election thought that 15,000 votes would have been enough to win the nomination. Nobody expected a 70,000 vote turnout.

A recount may be called, since two candidates, Racine and Markowitz, are within 2% of the votes cast for the leading candidate. Either of them is allowed to ask for a recount. Last time there was a recount in Vermont, the swing (difference in votes) was 239 votes, more than Shumlin's margin of victory.

In other words, it's still too close to call.

A Cartoon About the Election

I live near White River Junction, and one of the wonderful new things about White River Junction is the Center for Cartoon Studies. Sarah Stewart Taylor, Matt Dunne's wife, teaches there. One of my favorite cartoonists, James Sturm, is one of the co-founders of the school.

Full disclosure: Taylor and Sturm both donated signed copies of their latest books to a charity auction I was involved in. They were both very gracious when I asked them to donate.

James Sturm accompanied Matt Dunne on a final electioneering push, the day before the elections. Sturm and Katharine Roy have an excellent report of that day posted at Slate magazine now: Honk and Wave. The small town feeling of a Vermont campaign is captured in this short "dispatch in comics." I encourage you to look at it.

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