Elections

House approves 16-year-old voting in Brattleboro

by Guy Page

The Vermont House of Representatives Thursday voted 102-42 along party lines to give initial approval to amending the Brattleboro Town Charter to allow youth voters ages 16-18 to vote in local town elections.

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. A House vote on final approval is scheduled for today. If approved as expected, it will go to the Senate. A Brattleboro resident, Sen. Becca Balint, is the Pro Tem a/k/a leader of 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. Yesterday’s vote is the first known vote by a full body of the Legislature to affect any 16-year-old Vermont voters.

The only post-vote comment from the floor came from Rep. Jim McCullough (D-Williston): “By voting yes in support of Brattleboro’s Charter, I acknowledge and support Vermont’s youth and Vermont’s future.”

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21 replies »

  1. They CAN’T DRINK or SMOKE or Buy a BEER or BOOZE, BUT they Can vote in their LOCAL elections. They WILL VOTE on EMOTION instead of the FACTS

  2. What’s next ? 14 year olds ? Bringing back the draft to take advantage of a new pool of more easily trainable soldiers ? What kind of “adult” believes that a 16 year old is mature enough to vote responsibly ? I submit that an “adult” that would believe it reasonable for a 16 year old is no more mature than the 16 year old.

  3. Another ploy by the Democrats to garner more votes. Easily indoctrinated by the left wing teachers. No skin in the game since they don’t pay taxes

  4. In my opinion a 16 year old is significantly smarter than Jim McCullough, so his statement kind of makes sense.

  5. The Vermont Constitution, Chapter II, Section 42 says a Vermont Voter must be 18 years old.
    How can the Legislature legally pass having younger voters without following the rules necessary
    to amend the Vermont Constitution?

      • You post suggests you may have missed the language at the beginning of Section 42? Chapter II, Section 42 says at the beginning,”Every person of the full age of eighteen years who is a citizen of the United States ………..
        How much more clearly does the language have to be? Further, Chapter II, Section 72 describes the process to amend the Constitution. It says, the Vermont Constitution cannot be changed without a vote of WE THE PEOPLE of Vermont. The question is: How many Vermonters are willing to STAND UP AND SPEAK OUT to make elected officials accountable?
        This is also in the Vermont Constitution. It is the responsibility of Vermont residents/citizens to hold their Elected Officials accountable.

      • “42. [VOTER’S QUALIFICATIONS AND OATH]
        Every person of the full age of eighteen years who is a citizen of the United States, having resided in this State for the period established by the General Assembly and who is of a quiet and peaceable behavior, and will take the following oath or affirmation, shall be entitled to all the privileges of a voter of this state:

        You solemnly swear (or affirm) that whenever you give your vote or suffrage, touching any matter that concerns the State of Vermont, you will do it so as in your conscience you shall judge will most conduce to the best good of the same, as established by the Constitution, without fear or favor of any person.

        Every person who will attain the full age of eighteen years by the date of the general election who is a citizen of the United States, having resided in this State for the period established by the General Assembly and who is of a quiet and peaceable behavior, and will take the oath or affirmation set forth in this section, shall be entitled to vote in the primary election.”

        It’s not that I don’t agree that it’s ridiculous that a 16-year-old should be voting in any election. It’s that you can’t take only one part of a sentence and cherry pick what you like out of it. English doesn’t work that way.

  6. Makes perfect sense, I bet Montpelier stole thier elections too, pretty soon, we’ll have 10 year olds voting because the dumb asses in under the desks,,,er,,,,,dome will be promising Ice Cream cones,,,,oh wait, they already do that for the jabs,,,,what a joke

  7. let’s be honest, folks – legislators who voted in favor of this lack the intelligence and maturity to hold their positions and must be removed from any position that should be held only by mature adults. I don’t know what shape it would take, but I’m in favor of a revolution to defeat these loons if it must come to that.

  8. They can’t serve in the military, get married without parental permission, or sign contracts but they can vote. Are we going to let them run for office?

    • Remember Ethan Sonneborn who ran for Governor in the Democrat primary in 2018 ? He got 4696 voted ! Ethan Sonneborn was 13 when he fan for for governor.

  9. Brattleboro needs to read our state constitution! On top of that most16 year olds are not responsible enough to be voting.

  10. This is just stupid. These leftists and democrats know they have to change the voting system so they can keep winning. They’ve been indoctrinating our young kids for years. And statistically kids who are younger tend to vote democratically. Why? Because they don’t know the facts of life. They are basically clueless about many things. We need better leaders. Our state is a socialistic welfare state. Many of our politicians have no common sense at all. Why not allow them to drink then. If they’re that responsible to bite then they deserve to drink alcohol.

  11. I am not sure that this will withstand a court challenge. Almost every town expenditure involves either federal or state money which makes the decision to do the project, maintenance etc. that it includes money that doesn’t come solely from town taxes therefore ineligible voters under state law shouldn’t be allowed to vote on these issues.

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