by Guy Page
The Vermont House of Representatives today is scheduled to consider H361, amending the Brattleboro Town Charter to allow youth voters ages 16-18 to vote in local town elections.
The House Government Operations Committee voted out the bill eight in favor, three against. The youth voters would not be allowed to vote in federal, state, or school elections, because Brattleboro is part of a multi-town supervisory district.
The bill is sponsored by Brattleboro lawmakers Mollie Burke, Emilie Kornheiser, and Tristan Toleno. If approved by the House today, it will go to the House again for final approval (possibly tomorrow) and then on to the Senate.
Both the Vermont House and the US Congress have had bills introduced in recent years to allow 16-and-older voting. Vermont Rep. Peter Welch co-sponsored such a bill. A similar bill was introduced by a New York congressperson Feb. 4. Today’s vote is the first known vote by a full body of the Legislature to affect any 16-year-old Vermont voters.