More than a third of Vermont’s active voters had already returned their ballots going into the weekend ahead of Election Day, according to Secretary of State Jim Condos.
Condos, a Democrat who chose to not seek re-election this year, said as of Friday, more than 150,000 of the 440,000 voters considered “active” had already returned their ballots — either by mail or by bringing them to their town or city clerks’ offices. Vermont has roughly 500,000 registered voters total, according to Condos.
“Your vote is your voice— exercise it,” Condos said in an interview with NECN & NBC10 Boston Monday, urging Vermonters who haven’t yet voted to do so by 7 p.m. Tuesday at their local polling place.
A list of Vermont polling locations is available through the secretary of state’s office.
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Winooski City Clerk Jenny Willingham said she expects a steady day at the polls Tuesday, even despite a new Vermont law that means ballots are automatically sent to all registered voters — which they can either mail back or drop off at clerks’ offices early.
Willingham explained a lot of people seem to like the thrill of feeding their picks into the tabulator themselves. Additionally, new voters in Vermont can register right up to and even on Election Day. Willingham predicted she could be busy with same-day registrations at the polling place.
“I love Vermont for that, that we offer same-day voter registration,” the city clerk emphasized.
More information on registering to vote in Vermont is available through this page of the secretary of state’s office.
Condos cheered the fact so many people have already returned ballots — and said to him, it doesn’t fundamentally change the spirit of Election Day at all.
“I think it does extend it, somewhat,” Condos said. “I am still a strong proponent of making Election Day a holiday. I think it should be a national holiday. People have busy lives these days and not everybody can get to the polls. That’s why vote by mail, early voting, is so important — to allow people to have options. And that’s what vote by mail is: another option.”
Even with so many ballots already filled out, candidates are still pursuing every last supporter. Vermont’s Republican incumbent governor and his Democratic challenger were both on the trail Monday.
“A lot of people like to vote in-person, and maybe they haven’t decided at this point,” Gov. Phil Scott said. “And we want to help out the local legislators and local candidates, as well.”
“There’s a lot of things that have shifted this year,” said Scott’s rival, Brenda Siegel. “But one of them is that people understand that representation matters, and people understand being proactive matters.”
Back in Winooski, Willingham said she hopes for a strong total turnout — whichever method voters choose.