Vermont Voting Age Amendment, Proposal 5 (2010)

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Vermont Voting Age Amendment, Proposal 5 appeared on the November 2, 2010 statewide ballot as a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment where it was approved.

The measure allowed for 17-year-olds to vote in the primary election provided they turn 18 before the general election.[1][2]

The measure was sponsored by Senator Jeannette White.

Election results

See also: 2010 ballot measure election results
Vermont Proposal 5 (2010) (Voting Age)
ResultVotesPercentage
Approveda Yes 134,803 80.81%
No32,01819.19%

Election results via: The Vermont Board of Elections

Text of measure

Constitutional changes

See also: Vermont Proposal 5 (2010), constitutional text changes

The measure amended Section 42 of Chapter II of the Vermont Constitution. The proposed changes can be read here.[3]

Support

Jim Condos, Secretary of State 2010 candidate said he supported the proposed measure. In response to concerns that the proposed measure may require some revision, Condos said the legislature could make the procedural changes. The proposal, said Condos, would help encourage youth to participate in the voting process. "The foundation of our democracy begins with our voting. This is about helping to educate our youth, and getting them involved at an early age," he said.[4]

Opposition

Secretary of State 2010 candidate Jason Gibbs was opposed to the proposed measure and said the measure should return to the legislature for further revision. "I frankly don't think it's significant enough to justify amending our state's most important governing document," said Gibbs. Additionally, Gibbs argued that the legislature had not effectively explained or educated voters about the proposed measure.[4] "Voters have a right to know what will be presented to them on the General Election ballot, and to have time to consider and discuss the ramifications of amending our state’s most influential guiding document," he said.[5]

Path to the ballot

See also: Vermont legislatively-referred constitutional amendments

The amendment required approval in two successive sessions of the Vermont General Assembly. In the first legislative session the amendment required a majority vote in the Vermont State House but a 2/3rds vote in the Senate. The second time the amendment was considered, it required only a majority vote.

The proposed amendment was referred to the statewide ballot on January 26, 2010 following approval by both houses.[6]

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