We’d been hearing rumblings ever since Town Meeting Day that something had gone deeply wrong with the city-council balloting out in Burlington’s conservative Ward 7. Rumor had it that the sealed ballot box had been opened three times by a city official, no small fact when the margin of victory is just 15 votes and potential recounts in the offing.
Turns out it’s all true: the Free Press is reporting that Ben Pacy, an aide to the city’s Chief Administrative Officer Jonathan Leopold, unsealed and “resealed” the ballot box three times with no one else present and without a court order — and the Progressive administration in City Hall is backing his right to do so.
Translation: we don’t need no stinking court order.
Other than the sanctity of the ballot box itself, what’s the problem with allowing city officials open access to closed ballot boxes?
Well, given that Democratic majorities on the City Council are often countered by ad hoc Progressive/Republican coalitions, one can certainly imagine a nefarious scenario in which powerful Progs might throw a very close election to a hapless GOP.
Even more disturbing to VDB? That the City would defend, openly, its right to break the seal on a ballot box without a court order. That’s the action of a Party that’s been in power far too long.
Enter former Democratic City Councilor Jean O’Sullivan, who is, in a word, suing.
And good for her. You go, Jean.