On October 7, 2020

The importance of this election

Dear Editor,

The 2020 elections might turn out to be the most consequential of the 21st Century so far—both for Vermonters and for all Americans.

On the national stage, in the midst of a global pandemic and economic downturn, a heated and unusual presidential election is drawing closer to its end. Whatever the outcome, there is likely to be outrage on one side or the other—an unfortunate consequence of continuing political polarization.
Meanwhile, the balance of power in the Senate is contingent upon this election, with the majority swinging one way or another depending on which poll you look at.

Who wins the Senate is likely to control a significant portion of the agenda in Washington for the next two years—notably, with court appointments.

At the state level, the importance is no less significant. Whatever the outcome, next January we will have a new lieutenant governor and a new president pro tem of the Senate. Covid-19 has changed the way we look at politics, but also the way we are able to vote.

Here are just a few facts that are unusual, to say the least: We’re on track for perhaps record-breaking turnout this year. The Vermont Republican Party has fielded more candidates in decades, including for all but two seats in the Vermont Senate. In the August primary, well-known politicos in Montpelier were tossed out, including Senator Tim Ashe in his race for lieutenant governor and Burlington Representative Jean O’Sullivan in her bid for re-election, among others. Governor Scott will be tested for his Covid-19 response, which by all measures Vermonters approve of by overwhelming margins. We’re likely to see the first female president pro tem of the Senate. We’re also likely to elect the first transgender candidate in the history of the Vermont Legislature. Down-ballot and county races—like several contests for high-baliff—have received an unusual amount of attention as well.

In short, this election will be both unique and historic.

For all of these reasons, Vermonters have a greater obligation than ever to get out and vote. Or, in these unique times, stay in and vote. Whatever party you identify with, the importance of this election cannot be understated. It will have lasting implications for the Vermont political dynamic, as well as the direction of the country as a whole.

I encourage all my fellow Vermonters to do their civic duty by carefully researching both the candidates and the issues, and voting.

Don Turner, a former Republican state representative from Milton, former House minority leader, current Milton town manager.

Do you want to submit feedback to the editor?

Send Us An Email!

Related Posts

Harrison announces candidacy forre-election

May 29, 2024
Jim Harrison of Chittenden announced his candidacy for a new term as state representative for the Rutland-11 district (Chittenden, Killington, Mendon, and Pittsfield). He was first appointed to the legislature in 2017 by Governor Phil Scott and has been re-elected to new terms since then. Harrison is a member of the House Appropriations Committee, the…

Why Act 127 is vital for Vermont’s rural education

May 29, 2024
Dear Editor, In Vermont’s quest for equitable education funding, Act 127 represents a beacon of hope, especially for our rural communities. This legislation, informed by thorough research from Rutgers and the University of Vermont, revises the state’s school funding formulas to reflect the actual costs of educating students in diverse socio-economic settings, with a significant focus…

Act 127 balance ed resources; aims for equity

May 29, 2024
Dear Editor, The debate over educational equity in Vermont, particularly around the implementation of Act 127 and the Pupil Weighting Factors Report, touches deeply on the state’s social and economic disparities. This conflict is starkly illustrated by the historical and current attitudes of certain towns towards neighboring communities, especially in the context of educational funding…


May 29, 2024
Dear Editor, We have an urgent call to action: to protect 3SquaresVT/SNAP benefits nationwide for millions of families, including nearly 70,000 people in our state. In early May, the U.S. Congress began to progress on Farm Bill negotiations again. Just a day apart, the chairs of the House and Senate Agriculture committees released their respective Farm…