by Guy Page
The Vermont House of Representatives is poised to give initial approval to Brattleboro teens age 16 and older the right to vote in local elections.
The Government Operations Committee voted 8-3-1 Friday to advance H386 to the House floor. The bill would “approve amendments to the charter of the Town of Brattleboro to allow youth voters to vote in certain Town elections.” It appears on the agenda for the 10 AM Tuesday session of the House.
The bill was introduced Feb. 28 by Reps. Emilie Kornheiser, Mollie Burke, and Tristan Toleno of Brattleboro. The only three non-legislators to testify in Gov Ops hearings were a current student and former Brattleboro high school student and a Brattleboro selectboard member.
Brattleboro voters approved the amendment at Town Meeting 2019. A similar bill was introduced in a recent biennium but did not pass.
A Supreme Court decision has approved non-citizen voting in local elections but has yet to rule on under-18 local voting.