This letter is by Dale and Nancy Gassett, of Vernon.
Vermont bill H.386 is seeking to reduce the Vermont constitutional requirements of the voting age in Brattleboro. Our question is especially directed to Brattleboro Town Clerk Hilary Francis. As the town clerk she is the main person who is responsible to organize and preside over Brattleboro Elections. Will she keep her oath of office to uphold the Vermont Constitution as the foundational and supreme law of Vermont? Or, will she enable the lawlessness of the Vermont lawmakers who are betraying their constituents and ignoring their oaths of office?
We are also directing this same important question to the present Brattleboro Selectboard members: Ian Goodnow, Peter Case, Franz Reichsman, Daniel Quipp and Elizabeth McLoughlin. As the elected leaders of the town of Brattleboro, will you keep your oaths of office? Or will you enable the tyrannical, lawless bill known as H.386?
Vermont Voters elect persons at all levels of government to serve their best interests as Vermont Taxpayers, Voters and Citizens. They expect their elected representatives will act to protect their Individual and Unalienable, Freedoms, Rights and Privileges. Being a United States Citizen and attaining the age of 18 years, are the requirements declared in both the Vermont State and United States Constitutions. These requirements cannot be changed by tyrannical legislators who abuse their authority by handing down an illicit act from the state legislature.
A legal change of the voting age requires following the process to amend the Vermont State and/or United States Constitutions. This bill introduced in the Vermont Legislature is an illegal end run around our State and United States Constitutions. Vermont Voters would need to be engaged and participate if the legal process was rightly followed to change the Vermont Constitutional Voting Age Requirement. Voters and taxpayers should be asking, how did such a blatantly unconstitutional bill such as H.386 get past the Vermont Legislative Lawyers who are paid with our state tax dollars? Many of us who follow Vermont Legislative Activities and Bills have asked this same question many times previously.
If the Vermont Locally Elected Government Officials in Brattleboro choose to accept and enable the Vermont Legislature’s Usurpation of our Constitutions, their actions will also be in opposition to their oaths of office. Rather than breaking their oaths and enabling lawlessness, they should think about their positions as independent elected town officials. They are voted into their offices to serve the best interests of the people of Brattleboro who are their constituents. Elected officials holding Vermont Town Municipal Offices, have specific duties and independent functions under Vermont Law as they serve and are legally accountable to “The People.”
The Vermont Legislators supporting this bill are counting on those in other elected government positions to silently and submissively accept their wielding of false authority to enact their illegal bill. They are counting on persons who will follow their immoral examples of betraying their oaths of office.
Every elected officer in Vermont is required before entering upon the execution of their office, to take an oath or Affirmation of Allegiance. The required Oaths of Office taken by all Vermont Elected Persons are part of our Vermont State Constitution. They are shown in Chapter II, Section 56 – Oaths of Allegiance; Oath of Office. Since these oaths of office are taken under the pains and penalties of perjury, voters and citizens should easily expect that elected officials will keep their oaths of office.
Since perjury is a crime in Vermont, if elected officials blatantly break their oaths of office, can they be charged with the crime of perjury? According to the following Vermont Statute:
Title 13: Crimes and Criminal Procedure
Chapter 065 : Perjury – Section 2904 – False swearing; false declaration (a) A person whom an oath is required by law, who willfully swears falsely in regard to any matter or thing respecting which such oath is required, shall be guilty of perjury and punished as provided in section 2901 of this title.
Brattleboro officials hold independent elected positions allowing them to oppose H.386. They can choose to courageously adhere to our foundational laws as they agreed to do in taking their oaths of office. They can choose to reject this lawless bill by refusing to enact its illegal directives to the town of Brattleboro government. If the voters of Brattleboro want to change the Vermont State Constitution voting requirements, Brattleboro elected officials can choose to be the ethical leaders needed to lead voters through the legal and right process.
We have many Vermont Legislators, who act in opposition to their oaths of office as they ignore and usurp our Constitutions. Rather than serving their constituents best interests, they have become arrogant and power-hungry, tyrants. In their lack of self-awareness and hypocrisy, they are some of the first to cry, “treason and insurrection” about others while many of their own lawless actions are eroding our government foundations.
Our hope is that Brattleboro elected officials have an awareness of the extremely important function of our Vermont State and United States constitutions as the supreme law and foundations of our governments. Our hope is they will choose to honor their oaths of office.
To all the voters of Vermont and especially Brattleboro voters, please be reminded of your Article 6 duty as citizens who live in our United States constitutional republic.
Article 6 of our Vermont State Constitution
That all power being originally inherent in and consequently derived from “The People,” Therefore, all officers of the government, whether legislative or executive, are their trustees and servants; and at all times, in a legal way, accountable to them.
Don’t allow the further erosion of our constitutional freedoms. Hold all your elected officials legally accountable. Remember: tyrants claim freedom to kill freedom, yet they keep freedom for themselves.