Election Day Is Here. Have You Voted Yet? | News | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice


Election Day Is Here. Have You Voted Yet?


Published November 8, 2022 at 4:50 a.m.

Liz Schlegel Stevens adjusting signs at a polling place in Waterbury Tuesday - KEVIN MCCALLUM
  • Kevin McCallum
  • Liz Schlegel Stevens adjusting signs at a polling place in Waterbury Tuesday
It's Election Day. Vermont voters who haven’t already mailed their ballots can head to the polls on Tuesday for a contest that might set a turnout record for a midterm election.

As of last Friday, 151,819 voters had returned ballots to their local clerks, more than double the number by the same time in the last midterm election, in 2018.

But that was a very different time. After the pandemic hit, ballots were mailed to every voter under emergency rules in 2020. Seeing a spike in voter participation, lawmakers made the practice permanent.

This year, voters will decide the fate of two constitutional amendments, a $165 million high school bond in Burlington and a congressional race widely anticipated to result in Vermont sending its first woman to Congress. Every legislative seat and statewide elected office is also on the ballot.
A polling place in Burlington - MATTHEW ROY ©️ SEVEN DAYS
  • Matthew Roy ©️ Seven Days
  • A polling place in Burlington
While voting by mail has distinct advantages, it has also proven challenging for some people. Ballots need to be received by clerks by 7 p.m. on Election Day. You can still drop yours off in person either in a ballot box or at a polling place, but only until then.

Most polls open at 7 a.m., but some open as early as 5 a.m. or as late as 10 a.m. All polls close by law at 7 p.m.

If you mailed in a ballot but did not request one for a local ballot measure — such as the Chittenden Solid Waste District's bond for its recycling center — you can still vote in person, but for that local question only.
Voters who fear they made a mistake on a ballot they submitted can still fix it, too, under a new law allowing voters to “cure” a defective ballot. If a mail-in ballot is rejected as defective, voters are alerted by town clerks and can go to the office to correct the issue.

Through a combination of voter familiarity with the process, better education and clearer language, the number of defective ballots has plunged compared to the 2020 election.   That year, more than 1,335 votes were thrown out. This year, 457 have been deemed defective so far, but 273 of those have been fixed through the new process, according to Eric Covey, chief of staff to Vermont Secretary of State Jim Condos.

Seven Days has been following races and will report results on Tuesday night; look for our coverage online and in Wednesday's paper. Below are links to stories about some of the races we've been following:

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