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Thursday, May 23, 2024

Middlebury voting guide 2020: If you can vote, you can vote in Vermont

Good news for Middlebury students: if you can vote, you can vote in Vermont. With some of the most accessible polls in the country, Vermont allows same-day voter registration — so if your absentee ballot didn’t pan out, you can still make your voice heard. 

Who can vote in Vermont?

 You! As long as you’re a U.S. citizen who is at least 18 years old and sleeps in-state for six months of the year, you count as a Vermont resident. 

How do I register to vote here?

Vermont has some of the most accessible voting in the country, meaning there’s no deadline to register online. The application can be found here. Voters-to-be can also register in person before Election Day at the Town Clerk’s Office at 77 Main Street from Monday to Thursday from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. or on Election Day at the Middlebury polling location (yes, right before you vote) — as long as you bring valid form of ID or address verification, like a bank statement or utility bill. College IDs are not accepted.  

I’m registered in Vermont. Now what?

Once you’re registered in Vermont, you can show up to the polls without ID — your name will be on a list when you check in, though you may want to bring ID with you just in case there are issues with your registration. You can check your Vermont registration status here. If you registered to vote online after Friday, Oct. 30, your application may not be processed before the election, so you may not appear on the voter checklist at the polls. Don’t worry, you can still vote! If you’re not on the list, you’ll be asked to fill out another application in person, so make sure to bring your ID.

Where and when can I vote?

If you were registered to vote in Vermont already, you were automatically mailed an absentee ballot. If you’ve mailed it in, great! If not, you can drop off completed ballots at the Town Clerk’s office ballot drop-box or at the polls on election day.

Classic voting will take place in person on Election Day, Nov. 3. Polls will be open from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. at the Town of Middlebury Recreation Center & Gymnasium at 154 Creek Rd. If you were issued an absentee ballot but chose not to submit it, you’ll be asked to sign an affidavit guaranteeing you have not voted in any other state nor submitted a ballot by mail.  

What’s on the ballot?

While the presidential election has garnered the most attention in the 2020 election, it’s a big year for Vermont politics. If you’re going to vote in Vermont, take time to learn about the many elections taking place this year: you’ll be voting for a governor, the state’s sole congressman in the U.S. House of Representatives, regional representation in the state Senate and House, local judges and high bailiff. Learn more about these races here and read our coverage in the rest of The Campus’s election issue.

So why should I vote?

Democracy! While Vermont is by no means a swing state in the presidential election, many local and state races are highly contentious — and in such a small state, they matter a lot. Taking the time to learn about each candidate and race is the best way to ensure that our government is truly representative and that Vermont has the strong leadership it needs — and whether the races are contentious or not, your voice counts. Make sure to make it heard.