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Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Voting in Vermont's Primaries Is Off to a Sleepy Start

Posted By and on Tue, Aug 9, 2016 at 11:51 AM

click to enlarge Election workers confer in Burlington’s Old North End. - ALICIA FREESE
  • Alicia Freese
  • Election workers confer in Burlington’s Old North End.
Tuesday is International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples. And, according to not-totally-reputable websites, National Rice Pudding Day. Oh, and in Vermont, it’s primary day. 

The polls are open, if not exactly teeming with people. A trickle may be too generous a term to describe the traffic at the Sustainability Academy at Lawrence Barnes in Burlington’s Old North End Tuesday morning. The ratio of election workers to voters stayed at around 8-to-1.

Only a few people stood outside the school, where candidates or proxies often canvass at the last minute for votes. One man handed out fliers questioning the Burlington Town Center redevelopment; another collected signatures to re-reroute the Burlington Bike Path.
 
“It’s a primary,” said election clerk Charles Giannoni with a shrug.

As of 10 a.m., 153 ballots had been cast in Ward 3; another 200 absentee ballots had been cast previously. Giannoni pointed out a silver lining to the sparse crowd: It makes it easier for the four new election workers to learn the ropes.

Voting was similarly slow across the river in Winooski.
click to enlarge David Zuckerman, a Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor, votes with daughter Addie at the Hinesburg Town Hall on Tuesday afternoon. - TERRI HALLENBECK
  • Terri Hallenbeck
  • David Zuckerman, a Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor, votes with daughter Addie at the Hinesburg Town Hall on Tuesday afternoon.
In Hinesburg, David Zuckerman, a Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor, campaigned outside his own polling place before he and his wife, Rachel Nevitt, voted Tuesday afternoon. 

“It’s going to be neck and neck,” Zuckerman told voter Diane Derrick as Derrick headed into the town hall. 

“Really?” Derrick said.

Gauging the three-candidate race for lieutenant governor is tough, Zuckerman acknowledged. A farmer and state senator, he is competing with House Speaker Shap Smith of Morristown and state Rep. Kesha Ram of Burlington.

“The reality is, nobody knows,” Zuckerman said.

Voters have until 7 p.m. to cast ballots for statewide officials, senators, and representatives. If you’re looking for your polling place, check out the Secretary of State’s poll finder.
click to enlarge Voters fill out ballots at Sustainability Academy at Lawrence Barnes Elementary School. - ALICIA FREESE
  • Alicia Freese
  • Voters fill out ballots at Sustainability Academy at Lawrence Barnes Elementary School.
On the Republican side, the governor’s race — between Bruce Lisman and Lt. Gov. Phil Scott — is the one to watch. On the Democratic ballot, Matt Dunne, Peter Galbraith and Sue Minter are vying for governor.

Seven Days reporters will be out in the field compiling results and capturing the flavor of candidates’ post-election parties from Barre to Burlington.

Check out photos from primary day

Slideshow Photos From the 2016 Vermont Primary
Photos From the 2016 Vermont Primary 17 slides
Photos From the 2016 Vermont Primary Photos From the 2016 Vermont Primary Photos From the 2016 Vermont Primary Photos From the 2016 Vermont Primary Photos From the 2016 Vermont Primary Photos From the 2016 Vermont Primary Photos From the 2016 Vermont Primary Photos From the 2016 Vermont Primary Photos From the 2016 Vermont Primary



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About The Authors

Alicia Freese

Alicia Freese

Bio:
Alicia Freese is a Seven Days staff writer.
Terri Hallenbeck

Terri Hallenbeck

Bio:
Terri Hallenbeck is a Seven Days staff writer covering politics, the Legislature and state issues.

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