If you're a U.S. citizen and Vermont resident 18 years old or older, you have the right — and the responsibility — to vote in the November 8 election. Democracy is like a big group project. Don't be the person who sits in the back and complains but doesn't actually do any work!
Luckily, Vermont makes it easy to cast a ballot. Here are a few things to know as you prepare to do your civic duty:
You have to register to vote to get a ballot. Since 2016, all Vermont drivers eligible to vote have been automatically registered when getting or renewing a driver's license. Check to see if you're already on the state's voter checklist by entering your name and birthdate at olvr.vermont.gov. If you're not yet registered, you can complete the task one of four ways: Register online at olvr.vermont.gov; call 1-800-439-VOTE; visit your city or town clerk's office; fill out a voter registration form anytime before Election Day or at the polls.
You don't have to live here for a certain amount of time before being eligible to vote. As long as you're a U.S. citizen, age 18 or older, count Vermont as your primary residence and take the voter's oath, you're good to go. Looking at you, college students. As long as you're not also registered in your home state, you can register and vote here. Remember: You can only vote once.
Convicted felons and current inmates can vote in Vermont. Your criminal record has no bearing on your ability to vote here.
If you're already registered, you'll get a ballot in the mail. This fall, Vermont is sending ballots to every active voter on the state checklist. Town clerks were required to start mailing them on Monday, September 26. Once you've filled out or "voted" the ballot, you can put it in the mail, bring it to the town clerk's office or bring it with you to the polls on November 8.
If you choose to vote by mail, be sure you follow the instructions. If you don't, your ballot could be discarded.
If you return your ballot far enough in advance, and you've made a mistake that disqualifies your ballot, you can fix it. The clerk will let you know that your ballot is defective within three days of receiving it, and you'll have an opportunity to correct it. Another reason to get it in early!
If you choose to vote in person, the polls are open on Tuesday, November 8. Find your polling place and the hours it's open by logging into mvp.vermont.gov, which will give you the location and allow you to view a sample ballot. You can also call your town clerk and ask.