Editor’s note: Roll Call is published by the Ethan Allen Institute.
H.361, an act relating to approval of amendments to the charter of the town of Brattleboro, passed, in the State Senate on March 31, 2022, by a vote of 15-12.
The purpose of the bill was to override Governor Scott’s veto of H.361. This would allow children 15-17 years old to vote in local elections and on local issues, and to hold elective office.
Analysis: H.361 changes to the Brattleboro charter to allow 16-17 years olds (and 15 years olds if they will turn 16 by election day) to vote in municipal elections and serve on town boards, such as the select board.
Those voting YES believe this will help get young people more involved in the political process and establish the habit of voting.
Some of those voting NO believe that children who are not legal adults are not ready to make fully informed decisions relating to voting or mature enough to hold positions of authority and responsibility over critical municipal decisions, such as property taxes. Others may have supported Brattleboro children’s right to vote, but were concerned that they would have to sign contracts to serve in government, before they turned 18.
As Recorded in the Senate Journal, Thursday, March 31, 2021: “Shall the bill pass, notwithstanding the refusal of the Governor to approve it?, was decided in the negative on a roll call required by the Vermont Constitution, Yeas 15, Nays 12. (the necessary override two-thirds vote not having been attained).” (Read the Journal, p. 555).
Watch floor debate on YouTube.
HOW THEY VOTED
Becca Balint (D-Windham) – PRESIDING (YES on initial vote)
Philip Baruth (D-Chittenden) – YES
Joseph Benning (R-Caledonia) – NO
Christopher Bray (D-Addison) – YES
Randy Brock (R-Franklin) – NO
Brian Campion (D-Bennington) – YES
Thomas Chittenden (D-Chittenden) – NO
Alison Clarkson (D-Windsor) – YES
Brian Collamore (R-Rutland) – NO
Ann Cummings (D-Washington) – YES
Ruth Hardy (D-Addison) – YES
Cheryl Hooker (D-Rutland) – YES
Russ Ingalls (R-Essex-Orleans) – NO
M. Jane Kitchel (D-Caledonia) – YES
Virginia Lyons (D-Chittenden) – YES
Mark MacDonald (D-Orange) – NO
Richard Mazza (D-Chittenden-Grand Isle) – NO
Richard McCormack (D-Windsor) – NO
Alice Nitka (D-Windsor District) – NO
Corey Parent (R-Franklin) – ABSENT (NO on initial vote)
Chris Pearson (P-Chittenden) – YES
Andrew Perchlik (D-Washington) – YES
Anthony Pollina (P/D-Washington) – YES
Kesha Ram (D-Chittenden) – YES
Richard Sears (D-Bennington) – ABSENT (YES on initial vote)
Michael Sirotkin (D-Chittenden) – YES
Robert Starr (D-Essex-Orleans) – NO
Joshua Terenzini (R-Rutland) – NO
Richard Westman (R-Lamoille) – NO
Jeanette White (D-Windham) – YES