State News

Milne declines to concede; awaits official numbers

By Laura Krantz,

As Gov. Peter Shumlin scheduled a 3 p.m. news conference on his slim lead over Republican Scott Milne on Wednesday, Nov. 5, Milne left his hotel vigil without speaking to the media.

Just after 2 p.m. Wednesday, Milne’s daughter, Elise, came down to the lobby of the Sheraton Burlington Hotel and Conference Center to tell reporters her father had left. Reporters had camped out there since 10 a.m. because Milne early Wednesday morning said he would hold a news conference.

Later, Milne said he would not concede until all votes were counted.

When reached by phone, Milne explained his failure to meet the press. “I just wanted to make sure I think through what I think about things,” he said. He said to expect a news conference in the next two days.

Milne has not clearly defined what he means by waiting until all the votes are counted. The Secretary of State’s office has not yet compiled full unofficial returns; the tally won’t be official until it’s approved by the Board of Canvassers; and Milne could also seek a recount.

Milne spoke with advisers, including Jim Douglas, on how to proceed. He did not rule out the possibility of a recount.

“We’re not taking any options off the table right now,” he said.

The Secretary of State’s office Wednesday said final results that include all precincts likely won’t be available until Saturday or Sunday.

The online results are unofficial, and town clerks are now focused on getting official results certified and mailed to Secretary of State Jim Condos’ office. That by law must be done in 48 hours.

Once Condos’ office receives the results by mail, election workers will enter them into the computer system and they will likely be available this weekend, according to Condos’ office.

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