Teens weighed as solution to low representative turnout on Town Meeting Day

This article by Bob Audette originally appeared June 28 in the Brattleboro Reformer.

BRATTLEBORO — Brattleboro is the only town in Vermont to utilize the Representative Town Meeting format for its annual town meeting, but each year the town struggles to fill the 138 seats available, usually coming up 15 or 20 people short.

One local teen, Rio Daims, thinks she has the solution, but she needs the adults to sign onto her initiative, literally.

“The Youth Vote Amendment will allow youth 16 and 17 to serve as representatives at Town Meeting and to vote on local issues,” said Daims.

The process requires an amendment added to the Town Charter, which needs to be approved by the state Legislature. To get the ball rolling though, Daims needs the signatures of 400 registered voters who agree the question should be on the town ballot in November.

The youth vote amendment has been on the ballot before, in 2015, but it garnered only 49 percent approval, said Daims, falling short of the majority needed to send it to the Legislature.

Daims, the youth vote coordinator for Brattleboro Common Sense, would also like 16- and 17-year-olds to be able to vote on school issues, but that will require petitions and approval in all five towns in the Windham Southeast Supervisory Union. She is looking for volunteers to take on collecting signatures in the towns of Vernon, Putney, Guilford and Dummerston.

Read full story at the Brattleboro Reformer.

(Fair use with written permission from the New England Newspapers Inc.)

Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons/Rama

6 thoughts on “Teens weighed as solution to low representative turnout on Town Meeting Day

  1. The big public education monopoly would love this idea, all of the young, indoctrinated sheep would vote for more entitlements for Vermonts zany far left. I have a better idea, offer the kids education on business, the economy and reality. Teach them there is no such thing as a free lunch.

  2. This idea is absurd. This young lady may be a bit more mature than her classmates however let’s remember this is the same age group that snorts condums and eat Tide Pods. The majority of them don’t have enough education and life experience to be voting on anything other than the class president. The Sanders clan will jump on this as a great idea as kids can be swayed to believe most anything.

  3. BIG MISTAKE! Kids are not the answer. They are kids!! They are still learning, and sadly, they are influenced by wacky teachers with progressive views that they foist onto their students. If anything, the voting age should be raised! Really a dumb idea. Obviously a Democrat proffered this one.

  4. For most of the 25 years I served on Navy ships or overseas, I didn’t ‘have a voice in my local government’, Ms. Daims. I never received an absentee ballot on time to fill it out and have it return to the State of Vermont. I don’t recall the youth of the State clamoring to rectify that issue, so please don’t be surprised if I don’t care about the fact that you drive, you pay taxes on some menial job you have, and you’re ‘active’ in your town. Move out from Mom & Dad’s place if you want to play ‘grown-up’.

  5. We need one age, at which point you have all rights and responsibilities. This makes no sense, they are not legally an adult and can not make any legally binding decisions. They aren’t responsible enough until 21 to give full rights, like drinking, smoking, driving for hire, cleaning a fryalator, but they can run a town? But at 18 we can send them to war?

    • I agree with you Neil. What a ludicrous idea to allow 16 and 17 year olds vote. Brattleboro is the only town in Vermont that has the Representative Meeting Day format. I know … CHANGE THE TOWN CHARTER and adopt either a town meeting for Australian ballot format.

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