The headlines out of Iowa and New Hampshire let us know that the campaign to choose a Democratic candidate for President is well underway.
Here in Vermont we may not get the same attention as those first in the nation contests, but soon enough we will have the opportunity to have our say in our March 3 presidential primary.
The good news is that, unlike the opaque and confusing process we saw unfold in Iowa, the Vermont system is much more straightforward. No “re-alignment”, no “state delegate equivalents”, no three-hour caucuses, no mysterious apps.
Our system is simple: Vermonters vote using a paper secret ballot, and delegates are awarded proportionally based on those votes to every candidate who gets 15% or more. Democratic voters then gather in towns on April 21st to choose state convention delegates. On May 30th, hundreds of grassroots Democrats will gather in Barre at our State Convention to elect national convention delegates pledged to candidates based on the March primary results.
We are lucky here in Vermont to have a system that makes voting easy. Thanks to our nationally recognized Secretary of State Jim Condos, Vermont has automatic and same day voter registration. We allow 45 days of early and absentee voting. People who are 17 now but turn 18 before the November election can vote in our primaries.
The Vermont Democratic Party is committed to running an open and transparent delegate selection process that treats all the candidates fairly, and that gives every Vermont Democratic primary voter the opportunity to be heard. We operate under strict non-discrimination rules, and will send a delegation to our national convention in Milwaukee, divided equally by gender, that reflects the full diversity of Democrats across Vermont. In Milwaukee, we’ll select our nominees and launch a unified party to defeat Donald Trump in November.
For Vermonters, this process starts when you cast a ballot on Town Meeting Day, March 3, for the candidate of your choice in the Democratic Party presidential primary.
Vermont Democratic Party chair