On October 26, 2022

Vote: The Nov. 8 election is vitally important

By Michelle Bos-Lun

Editor’s note: Michelle Bos-Lun is a state representative from Westminster.

Early voting has begun in Vermont with the election soon approaching. There is the possibility that great changes could come to our state as a result of this election. From two opportunities to amend our state constitution to support freedom, along with a myriad of state and local offices to be determined, there are important decisions to be made.

As I go door to door talking to residents in three towns in Windham County, I am finding many people are not aware of the importance of this year’s general election.

During midterm elections, turnout is often lower than it is in years when we elect a president. There are many reasons that it is important to go to the polls this year on or before Nov. 8 to cast your ballot.

Besides electing one new U.S. senator and a new congressional representative in the general election, Vermonters will be voting on two important constitutional amendments. For our state constitution to be amended, two successive legislatures need to pass a proposal before it is listed on the ballot for final approval from the voters.

This year the Legislature gave second approval to two proposals to change our constitution.

Prop. 2 will remove archaic language that leaves ambiguity around slavery being permitted in our state.

Prop. 5 (also called Article 22) will support reproductive freedom for people in Vermont.

If the voters approve these two amendments, our Vermont Constitution will be amended. Voting yes on both proposals will help our constitution reflect what the huge majority of Vermonters want and believe is right: We do not condone enslavement of people, and three-quarters of us want reproductive issues to be between an individual and their doctor.

Opponents of Article 22 have claimed that passing the reproductive freedom proposal is supporting late-term abortions, but this is completely inaccurate. By Vermont law, late-term abortions are possible only in rare situations related to the health of the mother or severe health conditions in a fetus. Article 22 has no impact on policy for late-term abortions, which are extremely rare in Vermont.

In addition to the constitutional amendments, there are other important reasons to get your ballot in by Nov. 8.

Electing who will serve Vermont will happen on many levels: from the justices of the peace who will support democracy at the local level to casting votes to determine who will represent you in the Vermont Statehouse and in the District of Columbia, your vote matters. Who will be our governor and lieutenant governor are further important decisions you can make when you cast your votes. Most states have four- or even six-year terms for governor; our governor and lieutenant governor are elected or reelected every two years.

Your votes will impact the future of Vermont and our nation, our people, our land, our water and our forest for far more than the next two years.

If you are registered as a voter, a ballot should already have arrived via the mail to your home. You can choose to mail it back or return it in person. If you lose it or don’t get one in the mail, you can get a new ballot at the polls after signing an affidavit and having your name checked on the town list.

Wherever you live in our beautiful state, do your homework. Research the people running for office and cast your votes wisely to support candidates and proposals that match your values. As a former social studies teacher and a current legislator, I believe in our democracy.

The future of Vermont is at stake. Please vote.

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