Well, that was predictable.

Our long nightmare is over: Gov. Shumlin has been re-elected to a third term*.

*I know, I know… for some, that’s the beginning of the nightmare. 

After all the hyped-up drama… after the late brace of TV ads… after the posturing of many a Republican… after Scott Milne’s uncampaigning for the vote… it was all utterly predictable. Shumlin drew 110 votes, Milne got 69.

According to Ballotpedia, there are 116 Democrats in the legislature, 52 Republicans, seven Progressives and four Independents. So the vast majority of Democrats stuck with their guy.

It was a secret ballot, so we don’t know exactly who voted which way. Milne got 17 votes from non-Republicans. Probably a few Dems, perhaps some Progs upset over Shumlin’s abandonment of single-payer, a couple of Indys.

But we don’t know. And we should know. The secret ballot is one of the serious flaws in our system for choosing a governor when no candidate gets a majority.

The fact that the vote was a strong validation of traditional practice may reduce the momentum for a Constitutional amendment to change the system. Reluctant lawmakers will be able to say, “Our unspoken agreement still works, so why change it?” Which would be unfortunate; it’d be better to change the system before there’s an actual crisis, not after.

Best of luck to Mr. Milne on his return to the travel business.

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