Five things to know about the 2012 Vt. election
By DAVE GRAM
The Associated Press | November 06,2012
Vyto Starinskas / Staff Photo
Ludlow Elementary School students encourage voters to go to the polls with signs on Route 103 on Monday afternoon in Ludlow.
MONTPELIER — With the 2012 election finally upon us, here are five things to keep in mind as Vermonters go to the polls:
1. Vermont usually ranks as the most liberal — or at least one of the most liberal — states in the country. In 2006, a third of Vermont respondents told exit poll takers they were liberal, versus just a fifth nationally. This bodes well for the state’s liberal incumbents on the ballot this year, including independent U.S. Sen. Bernard Sanders, Democratic U.S. Rep. Peter Welch and Democratic Gov. Peter Shumlin.
2. If it seems like Shumlin just took office, you’re not far off. Vermont is one of two states — the other is New Hampshire — still electing a governor every two years.
3. If you’re not registered to vote in Vermont, it’s too late. The deadline is six days before Election Day, meaning that to vote in this year’s general election, you had to be registered by Wednesday. If you are registered, you needn’t bring ID to your polling place, unlike in some states. Merely provide your name to the polling clerk, and it will be crossed off the checklist.
4. Polls allow Vermont cities and towns to wait until as late as 10 a.m. to open their polls on Election Day, but there’s a uniform statewide closing time of 7 p.m.
5. One anomaly in Vermont is that it has the nation’s largest legislative district, in terms of the number of people representing it. The Chittenden district in the state Senate sends six senators to Montpelier. The Chittenden delegation usually has a Democratic majority, said Eric Davis, a retired Middlebury College political science professor. That sets up an unusual situation in which Democrats compete with one another for votes and then try to work as a team once in the Senate.