- Marc Nadel
Because of the coronavirus pandemic, this election season is different from any we've ever experienced. In recent months, Vermont politicians running for office have not been out knocking on doors or marching in parades. The incumbents have barely had time to campaign while managing an economic and public health crisis. Voters have had fewer opportunities to get to know their candidates.
Meanwhile, concerns about spreading the virus have prompted election officials to encourage Vermonters to vote by mail. Their efforts appear to be working. The Secretary of State's Office has seen a surge in the number of voters seeking absentee ballots for the primary election: There have been a record-breaking number of such requests — more than 113,000 as of press time.
But voting from home is different from voting in person, and if you do it wrong, your vote won't count.
To help Vermonters better understand their choices, and how to make them, Seven Days has created our first-ever voters' guide. In this inaugural issue, you'll find easy-to-follow instructions about how to mark and mail in your ballot, along with information about how to register and a list of the candidates seeking your vote on — or before — August 11.
Though national politics dominates the news, state elections are far more consequential to our daily lives. Local leaders will be the ones making tough decisions in the months and years ahead about how to best manage our resources to fund schools, stimulate the local economy, address food insecurity and keep us safe.
In other words: It matters whom you pick in this primary, and in the general election this fall, and we're not just talking about the presidency. If you've never tuned in to politics, if you've never paid close attention to local elections, now is a great time to start. Read the articles below to find out how.