I noted in the recent Killington town report that Article 7 involved a move to return to the town meeting floor vote for public questions. I guess I’m a little confused about why we would want to take a step back to a system that disenfranchised so many of our neighbors.
Over the years the town meeting format served us well but as we move into the 21st century more of our residents have jobs out of town or are traveling and unable to attend an all day meeting. Relying on a floor vote unintentionally suppresses the vote. We must make the necessary accommodations to allow all of our neighbors their voice in important town business. To go backwards would in effect suppress the votes of a large segment of our neighbors.
It would seem that our goal nationally and locally is to encourage citizen participation in elections. When the town of Killington moved to the use of the Australian ballot citizen participation increased from 253 ballots cast in 2011 (28 percent of our registered voters) to 480 ballots (53 percent of our registered voters) in 2016. This dramatic increase in voter participation indicates to me that there were a significant number of Killington voters who wanted to vote but were unable to take the day off to exercise their right.
The use of the Australian ballot provides all of our citizens the opportunity to have a say on issues of importance in the town.
Article 7 reads: “Shall the Town of Killington discontinue the use of voting on all public questions by the Australian ballot system and go back to a floor vote?”
Please vote “No” on article 7.
Michael Clifford, Killington