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- Killington adopts the Australian Ballot for Town Meeting elections
Wed, Feb 15, 2012 06:08 PM
This is the first year that Killington voters will not
participate in a traditional Town Meeting where votes are cast from
the floor, instead opting for the Australian Ballot.
Killington residents voted for this change at a Special Town
Meeting on May 9, 2011. The Australian Ballot requires voters to
simply mark "yes" or "no" next to each article. Voters can vote on
election day, Tuesday, March 6, 2012 at the Killington Elementary
School from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. or via absentee ballots accepted up
until the Monday before elections (March 5).
Ballots for Town Meeting, Presidential Primary and the WUHS
District #4 Budget votes are available at the Town Clerk's office
or by calling 422-3243 or by email.
Town Meeting Day across Vermont is always the first Tuesday in
March. Each town can opt to vote either by "floor meeting" or by
"Australian Ballot" or by using a combination of both voting
Prior to this year, all important decisions were discussed and
voted upon via floor meeting. At a floor meeting, citizens speak up
seeking to clarify or amend items to be voted upon, or to persuade
those present on whether or not to vote for a particular
measure. "If the budget is voted down, officials understand
the reasons the residents rejected it," said Lucrecia Wonsor,
Killington town clerk.
Floor meetings can last a few hours or they can go all day
depending on how many articles are on the warning and how much
discussion there is over the issues raised by the articles prior to
By contrast, Australian Ballot voting takes only a few minutes. The
warning is set a month prior and cannot be amended. Voters mark a
secret ballot which is counted when the polls close. This is how we
cast our ballots at the general election in November.
Since residents do not need to be physically present to vote, the
Australian Ballot is commonly thought to increase voter
participation, and many hope that it will as attendance at
Killington Town Meetings had been declining.
However, some are doubtful that the change to Australian Ballot
will increase voter turnout.
"In reality, people don't take their right to vote seriously," said
Lucrecia Wonsor, Killington town clerk. "While this method is more
convenient for people, unfortunately, I don't expect it will
increase voter participation significantly," she said.
One concern that town officials share is that voters will not have
the opportunity to ask questions about the articles to clarify
their understanding of what is at stake. "An informational meeting
will be held on the Monday before election day for residents to ask
questions and gain a better understanding of why and how the
articles came to appear on the ballot," said Seth Webb, Killington
interim town manager. "This is a very important meeting and we hope
to see a great turnout."
The informational meeting to discuss articles on the Town Meeting
Warning will be held at the Killington Elementary School Gym on
Schoolhouse Road, March 5, at 7 p.m.
Note: The Killington School District Meeting will take place on
March 6, at 9 a.m. at the Killington Elementary School Gym on
Schoolhouse Road. Voting on all articles on the School District
Meeting Warning will continue be decided from the floor.