Ah, the Department of Motor Vehicles: everybody’s stereotype of a complacent, hidebound bureaucracy, where the lines are long and the staff’s hostility is held in check by its somnolence.
The image is unfair to the reality. The DMV has made strides to enter, if not the 21st Century, at least the late 20th. But now it faces new challenges not of its own making, and there needs to be a shakeup in its future.
Among those challenges: responsibility for voter registration which it seems to be fumbling, and an attitude toward the new driver’s privilege cards that seems to have awakened the inner Barney Fife in some DMV employees.
In honor of Primary Eve, I thought it’d be fun to recount a little trip I recently took. A trip deep into the heart of Vermont’s election law. Warning: some scenes may be unsuitable for those with a lick of common sense. Also, do not operate heavy machinery while reading this post.
It all began when a tipster told me that a certain candidate for the Vermont House of Representatives might not meet the residency requirement: to be a candidate, you have to have lived in the district for at least one full year.
Spoiler alert: turns out the candidate does qualify, so far as we can tell. In a way, it’s not a story at all; but the process was enlightening to a politics nerd like me, and It’s My Blog So I’ll Write If I Want To.
The candidate in question is Adam DesLauriers, Democrat running for the House in the two-seat Orange-1 district. Incumbents are Progressive Susan Hatch Davis and Republican Rodney Graham. DesLauriers and Davis are the only candidates on the Democratic ballot, so both are virtually assured of winning nominations.
Rumor had it that DesLauriers, a son of the guy who created the Bolton ski area, only registered to vote in Orange-1 in April of this year, far too late to qualify as a candidate. I confirmed this with the Washington town clerk’s office.