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Vermont Primary and General Election Info - Fall 2008

By Missy Ross, Hinesburg Town Clerk

As I’m sure you are all aware, the fall elections are almost upon us. The primary will be held on September 9, 2008 and the general election falls on November 4th. The polls are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. for all elections. As always, the deadline to register to vote if you have not done so already is the Wednesday before the election. You can register at the town clerk’s office during our normal business hours. You should have a valid Vermont driver’s license or non-driver I.D. card. Be sure to include this number on your voter registration form. If you cannot obtain either of these documents, you may use the last 4 digits of your social security number, though the Secretary of State’s office prefers the former option.

The September primary is a difficult election to administer. There are four different ballots, one for each major party in Vermont. You will be given all four ballots, including the Democratic, Republican, Liberty Union and Progressive. You must take all four ballots, choose which party primary you wish to participate in, vote on that ballot only, and discard the un-voted ballots in the box marked for that purpose. The single voted ballot must be deposited and counted by the voting machine tabulator. Additionally, there will be a fifth ballot containing the wastewater upgrade bond vote. These ballots will be deposited in yet another box and will be counted by hand.

To further complicate matters, Hinesburg is made up of two legislative districts, Chittenden 1-1 and a portion of Chittenden 1-2. There are a couple of hundred Hinesburg voters in Chittenden 1-2. If you do not know which district you are in, check the map which will be posted outside the polling place to see if your residence falls in the shaded areas representing Chittenden 1-2. The two areas of Hinesburg which are included in a district with Charlotte are the Northwest corner and the Southeast corner. When you check in at the polls, there will be a separate table for Chittenden 1-2 so that we can insure you receive the correct ballots. The only difference between the two voting districts is whom one votes for in the state legislative contest. The ballots are identical except for that one race, but we must insure that you receive the appropriate ballots.

Additionally, there will be a fifth ballot containing the wastewater upgrade bond vote. These ballots will be deposited in yet another box and will be counted by hand.

Please keep in mind that you can vote early at the town clerk’s office. This is a good option for people who would like to avoid the lines at the polls, which can be lengthy during peak commuting hours. We receive the ballots 30 days prior to the election and you can request an absentee ballot be mailed to you, or you may vote here in the office and save us the cost and time involved with mailing. We will have a voting booth set up in the downstairs meeting room for your convenience, and you are welcome to vote during normal business hours prior to election day. Additionally, we will be having a special Saturday morning opening in October for people who would like to vote early to avoid what will undoubtedly be an extremely busy day at the polls in November. We will keep you posted on the date and time of the Saturday voting opportunity. This event is being organized by the Chittenden-Grand Isle Clerk’s Association.


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