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Liveblog for Vermont's 2022 midterm election

Published November 8, 2022 at 5:00 AM EST
Two old white buildings lit in bright sunshine. Three people stand in the middle of them - two men in jackets and baseball hats in conversation. Another woman walking by.
Elodie Reed
Vermont Public
Franklin resident Joseph Alexant, center, chats with fellow resident and local select board chair Dave Bennion outside the polls on Tuesday.

Vermont's midterm election was Tuesday, Nov. 8.

Voters had a lot to decide. Vermont had one seat open in both the U.S. House and Senate, and there were two proposed amendments to our state Constitution on the ballot, plus plenty of local races.

Find Vermont Public's midterm election reporting and results below. You can also follow along with the Associated Press' live results here.

from the field
Closing time

That's it from the 2022 Vermont midterm election live blog!

Posted November 9, 2022 at 1:23 PM EST
Three handwritten lawn signs by the side of the road say "VOTE" "FOR DEMOCRACY" and "VOTE"
Nina Keck
Vermont Public
Signs in Chittenden encouraging Vermonters to vote Tuesday.

We're closing up Vermont Public's 2022 midterm election live blog. Thanks for following along!

You can check back herefor more Election 2022 coverage from Vermont Public and NPR.

from the field

Franklin County Sheriff's race yet to be called

Posted November 9, 2022 at 1:17 PM EST

The race for Franklin County Sheriff hasn't been called yet as officials are still tallying write-in votes.

Two write-in campaigns were launched after the only candidate on the ballot was accused of using excessive force.

Former Franklin County Sheriff captain John Grismore faces an assault charge for allegedly kicking a handcuffed man. He was also fired from the department. But he refused to withdraw from the race.

That prompted leaders in both political parties to throw their support behind write-in candidate Mark Lauer. Another candidate, Gale Messier also launched a write-in campaign. 

Will Senning, with the Secretary of State's office, says towns clerks have 48 hours after the election to file the official returns of votes.

"And it's on the official return where they're required to report the name of every person who received a write-in vote," Senning said.

Unofficial results from the Secretary of State's office show Grismore with more than 8,800 votes.


Chittenden County voters approve $22 million bond for new recycling center

Posted November 9, 2022 at 10:00 AM EST

Chittenden County voters approved yesterday a $22 million bond to build a new recycling center.

More than 80% of voters approved the measure, according to the Chittenden Solid Waste District.

CSWD, in a press release, said the revenue from the recycling center will be used to pay back the loans for the project. The district plans to start permitting and design next year, with construction going into 2025.

race called

Sims wins in closely-watched NEK Vermont House race

Posted November 9, 2022 at 9:40 AM EST

Democrat Katherine Sims won a closely watched Vermont house race last night.

Due to reapportionment, Sims and Republican Vicki Strong, both incumbent lawmakers, were vying to represent a single district in Orleans County. The new district covers  Albany, Craftsbury, Glover and Greensboro.

Sims won with 61% of the vote, compared to Strong's 38%.

from the field
In Montpelier

Democrats appear to keep super majority in state Senate

Posted November 9, 2022 at 8:48 AM EST

Democrats appear to have held on to their 23-seat super majority in the state Senate.

Republicans had hoped to pick up a few seats—and had eyed the new Chittenden-North District, which was created when the Chittenden County Senate District was divided into three parts.

The North District included more conservative leaning towns like Milton. But GOP candidate Leland Morgan appears to have lost to Democrat Irene Wrenner, who received 51% of the vote compared to Morgan's 48%.

In another closely watch Senate race, Orange County Democrat Mark MacDonald appears to have defeated Republican John Klar. MacDonald, who was hospitalized due to a stroke a month before the election, has received 56% of the vote, while Klar got 43%.

race called

Zuckerman wins race for Vermont lieutenant governor

Posted November 9, 2022 at 8:27 AM EST
A photo of a man in a hat in front of barn silos next to the text Progressive/Democrat David Zuckerman wins lieutenant governor seat
Photo: David Zuckerman campaign, Courtesy
Graphic: Laura Nakasaka, Vermont Public

David Zuckerman, a forerunner of the Vermont Progressive Party who runs in elections as a Democrat, will be only the second person in state history to serve non-consecutive terms as lieutenant governor.

Zuckerman defeated his Republican opponent, Joe Benning, by a margin of 51% to 41%, with all but one town reporting.

At an election night party in Burlington, Zuckerman said his office would be open to all Vermonters.

“I plan to travel the state and meet people where they are. I'll work with students, older folks and young people to help them find their voice in the system," he said. "We have the tremendous opportunities to build the Vermont that we want with clean water, healthy soil, resilient farms and resilient people."

Zuckerman gave up his post in 2020 to launch an unsuccessful bid for governor. Earlier this year, Zuckerman decided he wanted his old job back. And on Tuesday, voters obliged.

The lieutenant governor’s race was the closest of all the federal and statewide contests Tuesday, in part because Benning, a moderate Republican who styled his candidacy after Gov. Phil Scott, appears to have made some inroads with fiscally conservative Democrats and independents.

Benning, a state senator from Caledonia County, has stridently and repeatedly condemned former President Donald Trump. He’s also disavowed Vermont Republicans who parrot Trump’s elections conspiracies.

from the field

Democrats clean up in down ballot statewide races

Posted November 9, 2022 at 7:52 AM EST

Democrat Charity Clark won the race for attorney general Tuesday and will become the first woman to hold that post in Vermont.

Clark beat her Republican opponent Michael Tagliavia by 30 percentage points. During her victory speech Tuesday night, Clark highlighted the historic nature of her win. "I want to dedicate this moment to the girls of Vermont, like my daughter and yours, who have never seen an attorney general elected who looked like them," she said.

Clark most recently served as chief of staff to former Attorney General T-J Donovan, who left office this year to work at an online gaming company.

In the race for the next secretary of state, Democrat Sarah Copeland-Hanzas beat Republican H. Brooke Paige with 65% of the vote.

Speaking in Burlington Tuesday night, Hanzas said she wants to find ways to make voting more accessible. "We have more that we can build on, we can make sure that when you get your ballot, you also get a voter guide so that you know how to look up the candidate whose values most closely match your own. We have more that we can do in terms of educating people on civics, helping them understand how the democratic process works," she said.

Hanzas, a former state representative, will replace Secretary of State Jim Condos who decided not to run for re-election after a decade in office.

In the race for treasurer, Democrat Mike Pieciak won. The state’s former commissioner of financial regulation takes over the role from Beth Pearce, who’s retiring after serving as treasurer since 2011.

from the field

Burlington approves $165 million school bond

Posted November 9, 2022 at 7:36 AM EST

Voters in Vermont's largest city overwhelmingly approved $165 million bond to build a new high school.

High levels of cancer-causing chemicals were found in the old school in 2020. The district temporarily moved the high school to the former site of a Macy's department store downtown.

Burlington resident Matthew King says he was wary the cost of the new high school but voted for the bond. "Only because I don't feel like we have a choice, and it's scary having kids in the high school where it is," he said.

District officials are hoping they can secure state and federal money to lower the total amount the city has to borrow.


Vermont secures constitutional right to abortion

Updated November 9, 2022 at 6:27 AM EST
Posted November 9, 2022 at 6:27 AM EST
A woman in a red sweater leans against the back of her car. In white lettering on the back window reads "WOMEN's Rights Matter Vote YES Article 22"
Nina Keck
Vermont Public
Nancy Sobotka of Rutland City said she has never been prouder to be a Vermonter than she is today.

Voters ratified an amendment enshrining the right to abortion and birth control in the Vermont state Constitution.

The measure, known as Prop 5 and Article 22, passed with over 77% of the vote, according to the AP.

State law has protected reproductive rights since 2019, but supporters of the amendment say it ensures the state legislature couldn't pass anti-choice legislation down the line if political will ever changed in the state house.

“I have never been prouder to be a Vermonter than I am today,” Nancy Sobotka, a voter in Rutland City, said on Tuesday. “I hope that when I wake up tomorrow morning I will not feel the sadness that I did when Roe v. Wade was overturned.”

Dottye Ricks, with the League of Women Voters of Vermont, spoke at a watch party Tuesday night.

“We are preventing the state, the church and complete strangers from sticking their noses into our reproductive business,” she said.

A sign reading vote yes reproductive liberty amendment article 22
Matthew Smith
Vermont Public
In Winooski, a lawn sign in support of the constitutional amendment to enshrine reproductive health rights.

Health care providers emphasized the amendment doesn't alter current standards for abortion care in the state.

“In Vermont, there are not abortions that are taking place in the third trimester, and that practice won’t change with Article 22,” Dr. Lauren MacAfee, an OBGYN at the University of Vermont toldVermont Editionlast month.

Still, some voters said they worried about the vague wording of the right to "personal reproductive autonomy" in the amendment.

“I think it’s dangerous to put something that broad into the constitution,” said Katey Walker, a longtime Bradford resident.

“It’s meant no disrespect on women or doctors, but it’s not going to change anything," she added. "And it just could be a sleeping problem later on.”

Voters in California and Michigan also voted to ratify amendments establishing a constitutional right to abortion Tuesday.


Vermont voters pass anti-slavery constitutional amendment

Updated November 9, 2022 at 6:32 AM EST
Posted November 9, 2022 at 6:10 AM EST
A photo of a red, black and green sign reading pass proposal 2 ... slavery and indentured servitude in any form are prohibited, abolish slavery vermont
Elodie Reed
Vermont Public
Vermont voters chose to amend this section of the state's Constitution to remove any allowance of slavery or indentured servitude.

Vermonters have voted to amend the state constitution to clarify that all forms of slavery are prohibited in the state. The measure, known as Prop 2, passed with over 89% of the vote, according to the AP.

It will add language to the constitution that states "slavery and indentured servitude in any form are prohibited." It will also repeal language that says a person can be held as a servant, slave or apprentice "for the payments of debts, damages, fines, costs, or the like."

Reverend Mark Hughes, executive director of Vermont Racial Justice Alliance, is a lead proponent of the amendment. He said this change helps address systemic racism.

“Our work originated as a result of us understanding that systemic racism is the legacy of the institution of slavery,” he told Vermont Public in October, and “it was just reprehensible and unacceptable to have any representation of slavery within the constitution.”

Hughes said the language in Vermont’s constitution, written in 1777, served as a precedent for other states.

Vermont is known as the first state to abolish slavery, but those leading the campaign to amend Vermont’s Constitution say it was also the first to constitutionally permit it—and that the loophole needed to be closed.

Sherman Hunt, of Rutland City, disagrees. He’s a retired veteran who describes himself as a conservative independent.

“We have this tendency to turn everything into race and most of the time it’s not race,” he said. “[It's] political correctness going amuck. And as an African American, I don’t view or live my life through a racial lens. Never have, never will.”

Alabama, Louisiana, Oregon and Tennessee also voted on similar constitutional amendments.

from the field
Time for bed

See you in the morning

Posted November 9, 2022 at 12:01 AM EST

That's it for tonight, but we'll be back in the morning with more live Vermont election updates.

All the night owls can continue refreshing the Associated Press results here.

from the field

A few moments from U.S. Representative-elect Becca Balint's history-making night

Posted November 8, 2022 at 11:57 PM EST

Vermont made history Tuesday night when voters decided to send the state's first woman and openly gay person, U.S. Representative-elect Becca Balint, to Congress.

Here are some scenes from the Vermont Democrats' election night party, courtesy of Vermont Public's Laura Nakasaka.

A woman standing at a podium with a sign reading together for Vermont smiles with a crowd behind her.
Laura Nakasaka
Vermont Public
U.S. Representative-elect Becca Balint smiles during her victory speech on Tuesday.
People sit holding signs reading Balint for Congress and looking at their cell phones.
Laura Nakasaka
Vermont Public
Vermont supporters of U.S. Representative-elect Becca Balint waited more than three hours after polls closed to find out the result of the race.
A group of people in a room with fake palm trees and pineapples and a sign for Becca Balint
Laura Nakasaka
Vermont Public
The Democratic election night watch party was held at Hula coworking space in Burlington.
Two people look at a phone
Laura Nakasaka
Vermont Public
Dela and Dugan Murphy review incoming election results Tuesday evening. The couple drove from Portland, Maine to root for longtime friend Becca Balint, who won the race for Vermont's sole seat in the U.S. House.
A woman in a scarf stands at a podium in front of a microphone
Laura Nakasaka
Vermont Public
Elizabeth Wohl introduces her wife, Becca Balint, Vermont's first Congresswoman-elect.
A photo of a woman at a microphone
Amanda Andrade-Rhoades
Associated Press
Rep. Becca Balint, D-Vt., speaks during a news conference Nov. 13, 2022. Balint is among hundreds of Americans recently added to the Russian sanctions list.
A close-up photo of a woman smiling behind a microphone with happy women behind her
Laura Nakasaka
Vermont Public
U.S. Representative-elect Becca Balint said it was the women and gay people who ran for elected office before her that gave her the courage and hope to do it in Vermont.
A photo of a bunch of people hugging with photographers holding their cameras high above
Laura Nakasaka
Vermont Public
U.S. Representative-elect Becca Balint celebrates with her team after winning her race on Tuesday.

race called

Democrat Becca Balint wins Vermont race for U.S. House

Posted November 8, 2022 at 10:26 PM EST
A photo of a smiling woman against a brick wall next to the text Democrat Becca Balint wins Vermont's seat in the U.S. House
Laura Nakasaka
Vermont Public

For the first time in the state’s 231-year history, Vermont voters have elected a woman to represent them in the U.S. House of Representatives. Democrat Becca Balint, the President Pro Tempore of the state Senate, announced just after 10:15 p.m. Tuesday that Republican nominee Liam Madden conceded the race. At that time, the Associated Press was reporting a margin 61% to 30%. The AP called the race shortly after.

Speaking to a crowd of supporters in Burlington Tuesday night, Balint said she felt hope amid an otherwise polarizing time.

"I know so many of us feel like these are such dark times, and it's so easy to be cynical about politics," Balint said. "But if we those of us on the stage, if we had believed that conventional wisdom, if we had believed that change was impossible, I would not be standing here tonight. So take note and take heart. Vermont is a place where kindness and integrity and courage matter."

With Balint’s victory, every state in the country has now sent a female representative to Washington. Since 2018, when Mississippi elected Cindy Hyde-Smith to the U.S. Senate, Vermont has held the distinction as the only state to never send a woman to Congress.

Balint will also be the first openly LGBTQ person to serve in Vermont’s congressional delegation, and as a Brattleboro resident, she’ll be the first congressperson in decades to hail from the state’s southernmost counties. Balint’s victory, along with that of Rep. Peter Welch to the U.S. Senate, marks the first change to the makeup of Vermont’s three-person congressional delegation since 2006, sparked by Sen. Patrick Leahy’s impending retirement.

Watch Balint's victory speech below:

Balint’s path to Congress became all but guaranteed after she bested Lt. Gov. Molly Gray for the Democratic nominationin the August primary. While Gray was initially seen as the frontrunner, Balint pulled out a decisive victory, taking 60% of the vote. Despite Balint disavowing spending by outside political action committees in the race, after the primary, reporting bySeven Days revealed that a super PAC — funded almost exclusively by a cryptocurrency executive — spent about $1 million in support of Balint’s campaign.

In her run for Congress, Balint has made clear she’ll be a progressive voice in the U.S. House. She supports a national single-payer health care system, the cancellation of all student debt, the so-called “Green New Deal” to address climate change, and legalizing cannabis at the federal level. She bolstered her progressive bona fides with an endorsement from Sen. Bernie Sanders during the primary campaign.

"It's a time for leaders who are courageous enough to say that our politics do not work for regular people," Balint said. "This is a time for leaders to fight as hard for other people's right to vote as they fight for their reelection. This is a time for us to end the politics that fuel corporate greed. This is a time for us to rebuild the middle class and bring us together. This is a time to say that affordable health care and stable housing for all will make us a stronger nation, not a weaker one."

She added that the challenge for everyone moving forward was to "knit us back together as a nation" by listening to one another.

Balint easily beat political newcomer Liam Madden, the Republican nominee. Madden is a Marine veteran and a self-described independent looking to disrupt the two-party system. During the primary, he said he would decline the Republican nomination if he won it and run instead as an independent. But he reversed course after the primary, so the GOP declined to throw its logistical or financial support behind his campaign.

Madden congratulated Balint on her win in a Tweet Tuesday night.

With Balint headed to Washington, her leadership post in the Vermont Senate will be open in the next legislative session,As VTDigger has reported, Chittenden County Democrat/Progressive Phil Baruth has wide support among his colleagues to succeed Balint as the Senate president pro tempore.


LIVE: Watch Brenda Siegel speak at Vermont Democrats' watch party

Posted November 8, 2022 at 9:58 PM EST

race called

Phil Scott wins fourth term as Vermont governor

Posted November 8, 2022 at 9:51 PM EST
A photo of a smiling man next to the text Republican Phil Scott wins fourth term as governor
Photo: Phil Scott campaign, Courtesy
Graphic: Laura Nakasaka, Vermont Public

Republican Gov. Phil Scott secured a fourth term today, coasting to a 73% to 22% victory over Democratic activist Brenda Siegel.

The governor’s victory brought into stark relief his strained relationship with his party. Though he is one of the most successful Republican politicians in recent Vermont history, Scott, 64, did not attend the party’s official election night gathering at the Elks Club in Barre.

“We don’t have a straight line of communication, in some respects,” Scott said of the Vermont Republican Party. He thought many of his supporters wouldn’t have attended the GOP event, and sympathized with others who don't want to be associated with the party.

“They need to tone down the rhetoric,” Scott said. “They need to look beyond the national politics and figure out what's best for Vermont.”

“I think it's pretty obvious that my approach works," he added. "It's something that I've been trying to work with the party over the last 20 plus years, to no avail.”

Democrat Brenda Siegel spent her campaign emphasizing her support for a paid family leave law and policies to combat poverty and opioid addiction and take action on climate change.

Siegel, a Newfane resident, had run for both governor in 2018 and lieutenant governor in 2020, but lost in the Democratic primary.

In her concession speech tonight, she said there were "a lot of wins even in a long-shot race."

“It may not have been the outcome we wanted, but it was way better than most imagined, and we nailed down the things down that matter the most to Vermonters," Siegel said at the Democrats' gathering at Hula work space in Burlington.

"Because of all of you, we will get those things across the finish line this session or in the coming sessions," she said. "That is no small triumph, it is in fact huge."

from the field

Young Vermonters engage in elections process

Posted November 8, 2022 at 9:22 PM EST

Young Vermonters got out to participate in today's election.

Before the polls closed in Burlington this evening, 19-year-old Clare Kelly came to vote in her first election. Queen City residents voted on a $160 million bond to build a new high school. Kelly says that was one reason she came to the polls.

"Seeing the high school, or the option to vote yes for that, was important because I think the kids here deserve a high school, and that was something that got my attention," Kelly said.

The University of Vermont sophomore says if you're eligible to vote, it's important to make your voice heard.

Meanwhile at the GOP election night party in Barre, Vermont Young Republicans chair Samuel Douglass said housing is the biggest issue among those Republicans he works with, and all young Vermonters.

“I’m a Calvin Coolidge Republican the entire way, and I want to make sure the work we do does more good than it does bad, and make sure the people we help get elected are going to do more good than they do bad,” Douglass said. “It isn’t just about electing Republicans, it’s about electing good Republicans, and thankfully we live in a state where the majority of people here are quite moral and have good character already.”


LIVE: Watch Sen. Bernie Sanders speak at Vermont Democrats' watch party

Posted November 8, 2022 at 9:04 PM EST

from the field

The view from Vermont's Democratic, Republican election night parties

Posted November 8, 2022 at 8:24 PM EST

As we await more results, some views from the watch parties ...

Democrats are at Hula in Burlington:

Two people in brightly patterned jackets smile for the camera over plates of food
Henry Epp
Vermont Public
Diehard Democrats Janette and Marlene O’Brien were thrilled to hear that Peter Welch won the Senate race.
A photo of a crowd of people lit up blue with a fake palm tree in the middle of them
Brian Stevenson
Vermont Public
Hula work space in Burlington is the Vermont Democratic Party headquarters for election night.
A photo of a man in a mask
Henry Epp
Vermont Public
Sen. Bernie Sanders is in the building.
A photo of two people in the center of other people
Anna Van Dine
Vermont Public
Outgoing Sen. Patrick Leahy and his wife, Marcelle, arrive at Hula. Leahy announced he wouldn't seek a ninth term last year.

Meanwhile in Barre, Republicans are at the Elks Lodge, though the GOP nominees for governor, lieutenant governor, U.S. House and U.S. Senate (Phil Scott, Joe Benning, Liam Madden and Gerald Malloy, respectively) are not there:

A balcony view of a room with a red carpet sparsely populated, with white tables and a pair of antlers in the foreground.
Abagael Giles
Vermont Public
The view of the Elks Lodge in Barre.
A photo of a man wearing a flannel shirt and a red hat with a stage in the background with a banner reading VT GOP
Abagael Giles
Vermont Public
Forbes Morell of Corinth, a Republican voter at the party.
A photo of cupcakes in a tupperware, which appear chocolate with vanilla frosting
Abagael Giles
Vermont Public
Libertarian candidate for U.S. House Ericka Redic brought cupcakes.
A spread of food down a long white table
Abagael Giles
Vermont Public
Food at the GOP election night part was prepared by Vermont Young Republicans, including smash burgers with garlic aioli, cheddar cheese and Hawaiian buns.

Passing the torch

LIVE: Watch outgoing Sen. Patrick Leahy, U.S. Senator-elect Peter Welch speak at Vermont Democrats' watch party

Posted November 8, 2022 at 7:45 PM EST

race called

Rep. Peter Welch wins race for U.S Senate

Posted November 8, 2022 at 7:13 PM EST
A photo of a man with blurred mountains and fall foliage in the background next to the text Democrat Peter Welch wins U.S. Senate race
Photo: Peter Welch campaign, Courtesy
Graphic: Laura Nakasaka, Vermont Public

Congressman Peter Welch is headed to the U.S Senate, replacing Sen. Patrick Leahy who is retiring after 48 years in office. Welch easily won the election, beating Republican nominee and Army veteran Gerald Malloy. Welch led the race with over 65% of the vote as of Tuesday evening, according to the AP.

During a speech at the Democrats' election night party in Burlington, Leahy passed off the torch.

“I've been on the ballot in Vermont 24 times, and that should be enough for most people,” Leahy said. "“You couldn't ask for a better senator because … [Welch] keeps his word, you can trust him. He cares about the state of Vermont."

This year’s U.S. Senate race was the first time since 2006, when Sen. Bernie Sanders was elected, that there was an open Senate seat in Vermont. Sen. Patrick Leahy announced a year ago that he wouldn’t seek re-election and Welch announced his bid for the seat soon after.

Peter Welch -- older balding white man with glasses in a suit and tie -- stands behind a podium. Behind him is a crowd of people holding "Peter Welch" signs.
Laura Nakasaka
Vermont Public
Welch said he wants to bring Vermont’s commitment to the democratic process to the Senate.

On the campaign trail, Welch, 75, pitched more funding for child care and affordable housing, protecting abortion rights, and creating incentives to transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy. He also focused on the need to restore democracy and highlighted his experience at the Capitol during the Jan. 6 riot.

"This election, unlike any other election, has democracy right, front, and center on the ballot,” Welch said during his victory speech Tuesday night. “And our mission here in Vermont is to restore and defend and protect the democracy we value so much in this small state.”

“I am so excited to be your representative in the United States Senate to take those Vermont values to Washington,” he added.

A mostly bald older man wearing a black blazer and red tie stands in front of a podium with the sign "Together Vermont." A blonde older woman wearing a black shirt and sweater vest stands next to him clapping her hands.
Laura Nakasaka
Vermont Public
Sen. Patrick Leahy said he's been on the ballot in Vermont 24 times. Now, he's passing the torch.

Malloy, 60, won an upset victoryin the GOP primary, beating moderate Christina Nolan, who was backed by Gov. Phil Scott. Malloy pitched himself as a conservative Republican, whose 22 years of military experience, business ties and outsider mentality would make him an effective senator. His campaign focused on shrinking the size of government, a conservative reading of the Constitution and free-market capitalism.

Malloy, who moved to Perkinsville two years ago, tried to downplay his more conservative social views during the general election. During the primary, he said he’d vote for a federal abortions ban, but after winning the GOP nomination, he said he would not — and he denied that he had switched his stance.

But the political newcomer faced an uphill battle against Welch, who’d been in the House of Representatives for 15 years. A WCAX poll in October showed Welch ahead by 34 points. Malloy waged a grassroots campaign, attending more than a dozen parades and events and putting up scores of lawn signs, each bearing the face of an eagle and the slogan "Deploy Malloy."

An endorsement by former President Donald Trump in the final days of the campaign didn’t give Malloy an edge in the race either. Trump earned about 30% of the vote in Vermont in both 2016 and 2020. Malloy has said he voted for Trump twice and that he wishes he’d been at the Capitol on Jan. 6, though he says people who broke the law that day should be held accountable.

from the field

Polls are closed!

Posted November 8, 2022 at 7:00 PM EST

It's 7 p.m., which means Vermont's polls are closed.

Watch for results here on Vermont Public's live blog, and you can also get the Associated Press' live results here.

Below, PBS NewsHour explains how the AP determines election results:

from the field

Vermont voters reflect on fear, hope and the privilege of casting a ballot

Posted November 8, 2022 at 6:51 PM EST
A photo of a white building with a sign outside reading voting tuesday and the building has lettering reading broad brook community center.
Howard Weiss-Tisman
Vermont Public
Guildford voters cast ballots at the Broad Brook Community Center on Tuesday.

In Guilford, Amy Frost says she doesn’t vote in every election. But she did make her way to the Broad Brook Grange today to cast a ballot.

“I think that what brings me out to vote any year is fear, and some, some hope," she said.

Frost says the division in this country can be discouraging, and the best she can do is try to send good candidates to Washington to bring Vermont values to a mostly broken political system.

A photo of a sidewalk lined with campaign signs.
Karen Anderson
Vermont Public
The polls in Swanton.

In Hinesburg, Ryan Gardner saw Election Day as an opportunity to lead by example.

While he cast his general election ballot over a month ago using Vermont's new mail-in option, he said his wife reminded him of a special vote on a new recycling facility that wasn't on the general ballot. So he made a point to cast that vote in-person today.

"I vote, in part, so my kids can see me voting, so they can kinda understand the importance of participating in the process," Gardner said. "And also, when there's times that things don't go our way we can tell our kids, 'You know what? We voted, other people voted, that's the way it works. Sometimes votes don't turn out the way you want them to, but you know, you can live with the outcomes of votes that don't turn out the way you expect them to.'"

Fellow Hinesburg resident Raul Guevara was motivated to cast his ballot today because of the economy, inflation, and national security.

Guevara admitted that deciding who and what to vote for can be difficult, but he believes that voting is important and can have an impact.

A photo of a woman in a pink sweater
Marlon Hyde
Vermont Public
Keagan Calkins.

He was drawn to the U.S. from Guatemala about 40 years ago, in part, because of the right to vote.

"If you feel disappointed in something, I feel that you should vote, you can make a difference," Guevara said.

And in South Hero, Worthen Library director Keagan Calkins said she felt it was important to get out and vote today because she believes that everyone should have a choice in what to do with their own bodies.

Keagan dressed in bright pink and magenta to match her "I Voted" pin.

from the field
Races to watch

Democrats hope to shake up Rutland County's GOP stronghold

Posted November 8, 2022 at 6:04 PM EST
Heading into the polls Tuesday, Jacob Kendrick of Pittsford said concerns about the Republican Party's national agenda would likely influence how he voted locally.
Nina Keck
Vermont Public
Heading into the polls Tuesday, Jacob Kendrick of Pittsford said concerns about the Republican Party's national agenda would likely influence how he voted locally.

Rutland County has traditionally been a stronghold for Republicans in the state senate. Democrats haven’t won a majority of the county’s three senate seats since 1988.

But two incumbents are not seeking reelection, leaving Republican Brian Collamore as the only incumbent in the race.

Pittsford voters Cody Forrest and Carter Bruce say they hope Democrats can take advantage of the opportunity.

“It would be nice to see more progressive change around here,” Forrest said.

Heading into the polls, both planned to vote for three Democratic candidates.

Mendon resident Ron Slusarczyk says he voted for the Republican incumbent and two other Republicans in the race.

Slusarczyk said his biggest concern is the economy and he wants to keep Rutland County leaning right.

“We’re stuck with record inflation and we’re spending like we have a bank full of money and we don’t,” he said. “All the taxpayers are going to foot the bill. It’s crazy. It’s out of control.”

Jacob Kendrick lives in Pittsford and says he’s not averse to crossing party lines. But he says the national agenda of the Republican Party makes him nervous.

“I don’t think that they’re concerned about Americans per se anymore,” Kendrick said. “They’re more concerned about themselves and that’s frustrating.”

“Vendetta is not a way to govern,” he added.

from the field
Mail-in ballots

Early voting accounts for half of ballots in some towns, a third in others

Posted November 8, 2022 at 5:30 PM EST
An old white door with a sign that reads "Official Polling Place"
Lexi Krupp
Vermont Public
More than half of registered voters in Strafford cast a ballot before polls opened Tuesday.

Under a new law, every registered voter in Vermont receives a ballot in the mail.

Before polls opened Tuesday, the town clerk’s office in Strafford received 515 ballots – just over half of their registered voters.

“It’s a huge turn out,” says assistant town clerk Regina Josler.

In Bradford, town officials received early ballots from just under a third of registered voters.

That was about the same rate in Sheldon.

Four people gather around table with ballots, I voted stickers, hand sanitizer, pens and a water bottle.
Elodie Reed
Vermont Public
Sheldon Town Clerk Kim Dufresne, right, helps voters on Tuesday.

While that’s a pretty good rate of return, it’s also more paperwork, said Sheldon town clerk Kim Dufresne.

"With people not bringing their ballots to the polls, they have to sign an affidavit saying they were lost or didn't return," Dufresne said. "Or just saying they don't have their ballot with them. So then we have to issue a new ballot.”

Dufresne said polls officials keep track of mail-in ballots on the voter checklist so no one can vote more than once.

from the field
Races to watch

Franklin County voters choose between controversial former captain and write-in candidates for sheriff

Posted November 8, 2022 at 4:27 PM EST
A stained green glass window above an open doorway, where two people are voting beneath a golden chandelier.
Elodie Reed
Vermont Public
Chanel Bastian voted in Fairfield this morning. She was motivated by the two constitutional amendments on the ballot.

The only name on the ballot is Republican John Grismore, a former sheriff’s office captain who recently pleaded not guilty to kicking a handcuffed man.

Following the incident, Grismore was fired by the county sheriff’s office, and both major political parties are backing write-in candidate Mark Lauer, a sheriff’s deputy. A second write-in candidate, Gale Messier, also launched a write-in campaign.

But about half the Franklin County voters Vermont Public spoke with Tuesday didn’t have strong feelings about the issue.

They either chose Grismore because his name was on the ballot, or in the case of Fairfield resident Chanel Bastian, didn’t make a choice at all.

“I actually didn't vote for sheriff for many reasons, but I didn't do that much research into the candidates," she said. "It's not something I'm particularly interested in.”

Bastian said what brought her to the polls Tuesday were the two constitutional amendments, which she voted in favor of.

from the field
Voter profiles

Voters reflect on abortion, the economy, and new candidates

Posted November 8, 2022 at 4:10 PM EST
A woman in a red sweater leans against the back of her car. In white lettering on the back window reads "WOMEN's Rights Matter Vote YES Article 22"
Nina Keck
Vermont Public
Nancy Sobotka, of Rutland City, stood outside the polls this morning.

Nancy Sobotka, of Rutland City, said she was grateful she had access to a safe abortion when she needed one. It’s why she is outspoken in her support of Article 22, a proposal to amend the state constitution to protect reproductive rights in Vermont.

“I am going to cry because I have never been prouder to be a Vermonter than I am today," she said. "I hope that when I wake up tomorrow morning I will not feel the sadness that I did when Roe v. Wade was overturned.”

A man walks in jeans, work boots and a green baseball cap walks in front of a brick building with white columns and glass doors that reads "Sheldon" in black letters.
Elodie Reed
Vermont Public
Steve Kane is a lifelong Sheldon resident and dairy farmer.

Steve Kane, a lifelong Sheldon resident and dairy farmer, said he's voting because of the state of the economy.

“Gas prices for my truck, and food expenses,” he said. “Now you almost need a second job just to go to work, to pay for your gas.”

Kane generally leans Republican, and said he voted today to try and make change.

"Every vote helps," he said.

Two people, a middle aged man and woman, smile and look straight at the camera. He's wearing a blue Trump hat that says "Save America".
Elodie Reed
Vermont Public
Franklin residents Dennis and Diane Sartwell said the state of the economy was motivating their vote.

Franklin residents Dennis and Diane Sartwell echoed Kane's sentiment.

"Everything is just going backwards," Dennis said. He noted he leans more Republican these days than he used to. "I think we need a big change and just hopefully this does it."

A woman in a red dress and a black leather jacket smiles at the camera. She stands outside in bright sunshine in front of yard with several yard signs.
Nina Keck
Vermont Public
Melissa Rixon, voted in Rutland City this morning.

Melissa Rixon, from Rutland City, said this election felt very different for her.

“This is the first time in my life that I can remembering voting and Patrick Leahy or Bernie Sanders wasn’t on the ballot!” she laughed.

As a Vermonter, she said one of the things she appreciated was the ability to cross party lines, especially with local elections.

“I think a lot of my peers are more interested in how that person actually votes as a legislator versus what party they subscribes to," she said. "I’m just as happy to vote for a Republican or a Democrat, based upon essentially their resume, what they’ve been doing.”

from the field

Candidates make their final pitch to voters in Bradford and Norwich

Posted November 8, 2022 at 3:22 PM EST

Monique Priestly hadn't voted yet this morning. She was busy talking to voters in Bradford. She's running for an open seat to represent Bradford, Fairlee, and West Fairlee, left by Rep. Sarah Copeland Hanzas, who's making a bid for the Secretary of State office.

Priestly said she was feeling good about her prospects.

from the field

A new district in Chittenden County will elect its first state senator today

Posted November 8, 2022 at 2:55 PM EST
A map on sandwich board show the new Chittenden County Senate District.
Marlon Hyde
Vermont Public
Milton voters have a chance to have representatives in three districts. They are also voting on the Chittenden solid waste district vote.

A new state Senate district encompassing Milton, Westford, Fairfax and a piece of Essex Town will elect its first state senator today.

When Vermont redrew its legislative district maps this year,  the six-member Chittenden district was split up.

Republican state representative Leland Morgan is running for the senate seat in the new district — called Chittenden North.

Sign noting new districts in Milton.
Marlon Hyde
Vermont Public
Things are a little different this year for voters in Milton, thanks to redistricting.

The lifelong Milton resident says the new district presents an opportunity for small town voices to be heard.

"In Chittenden County ... for so many years, it's been Burlington, who has elected the senators, and with this new the break up into three districts in Chittenden County, I think it gives us a little opportunity for these outlying towns to possibly elect someone to represent them," Morgan said.

Morgan is running against longtime local activist Democrat Irene Wrenner of Essex.

In Montpelier, some Democrats are divided about whether to vote along party lines

Posted November 8, 2022 at 2:21 PM EST

At least some of the Democratic voters who’ve helped elect Republican Gov. Phil Scott in the past are switching allegiances in 2022.

Joanna Meyer cast her ballot in Montpelier today. She says she voted for Scott in previous elections, but was frustrated by some of the bills he vetoed during his latest term in office.

“And I decided to vote for Seigel” Meyer says. “So that was on my mind, because that was a big switch for me.”

Democratic candidate for governor Brenda Siegel is hoping that more Democrats will reconsider their support for the incumbent Republican, but Montpelier’s Christopher Noel won’t be one of them.

A man in a black sweater and glasses stands on a sidewalk outside a municipal building, next to a woman in a red leather jacket.
Peter Hirschfeld
Vermont Public
Christopher Noel, left, and Joanna Meyer, both voted in person at the Montpelier polling station Tuesday.

Noel is generally a reliable vote for Democratic candidates. But on Tuesday, outside the polling station in downtown Montpelier, Noel said he cast his ballot for Vermont’s three-term Republican governor.

“I don’t believe I’ve ever voted for a Republican before today,” Noel said. “But I voted for Phil Scott because I listen to so many hours of his press conferences during the pandemic that I came to respect his care and his diligence.”

Polls have consistently found that Scott enjoys broader support from Vermont Democrats than he does with voters from his own party.

Siegel is trying to change that calculus in this year’s election.

from the field
Constitutional amendments

Rutland City voters differ over constitutional amendments on the ballot

Posted November 8, 2022 at 12:37 PM EST
Multi-colored election candidate signs in a green lawn outside a church. A blue sky is behind. There are people wearing coats and chatting in the foreground.
Nina Keck
Vermont Public
Former Rutland City Mayor Christopher Louras chatted this morning with local resident Sherman Hunt (in cap and blue jacket) outside the Calvary Bible Church, one of four voting wards in Rutland City

Ellie Davine and Sherman Hunt both voted in favor of the constitutional amendment guaranteeing individual reproductive freedom in Vermont.

But the two Rutland City voters viewed the constitutional amendment on slavery differently. Davine voted yes.

“I thought it was a necessary update to the Constitution to close out any modern day loopholes that would exist or could exist," Davine said.

Sherman Hunt, a retired veteran who describes himself as a conservative independent, voted no.

“You know, we have this tendency to turn everything into race and most of the time it’s not race. [It's political correctness gong amuck," Hunt said. "And as an African American, I don’t view or live my life through a racial lens. Never have, never will.”

Vermont's Constitution, first written in 1777, contains language that allows for slavery or indentured servitude under certain circumstances.

Two organizations — the Vermont Racial Justice Alliance and Vermont Interfaith Action — launched a campaign this summer to strip those so-called “exception clauses” from the state’s founding document.

More from Vermont Edition: Why an antislavery amendment, Prop 2, is on the ballot in Vermont

from the field

Townshend voters head to the polls to vote on some big ballot items

Posted November 8, 2022 at 12:01 PM EST

In Townshend, Deborah Aubuchon came out early to cast her vote.

She says casting a ballot is the best way to address the real challenges facing her neighbors.

“You know, I know globally a lot of things are going on, but at home, this winter, if they don’t figure it out, people are going to be cold. More people than usual will be cold, will be hungry, and that’s not right. That’s not right," Aubuchon said. "And those people that we elect should be the ones who make sure that doesn’t happen. So, here’s hoping."

Even as more people vote by mail, Aubuchon said she likes to drive over to town hall to drop a ballot in the box.

A yellow sandwich board outside a white, wood town hall building reads Vote Tues Nov 8 8A-7P EARN THE RIGHT TO GRIPE
Howard Weiss-Tisman
Vermont Public
This sign greeted voters as they headed to the polls in Townshend early Tuesday morning.

There are some big questions on this year’s statewide ballot.

Rebecca Hall, also of Townshend, said she’s been especially focused on the proposed change to the state Constitution that would protect reproductive rights for all Vermonters.

“I think it’s a time when people feel like maybe they don’t have so much of a voice in government. And that was one way of addressing that issue, and I think it’s important," Hall said.

Hall said it was a good idea to bring the question before voters, and the issue was a driving force for her to vote this year.

from the field

Election Day gets started at the Winooski Senior Center

Posted November 8, 2022 at 11:30 AM EST

Election day was off to a busy start in Winooski:

from the field
Big bond

Burlington voters weigh a $165 million bond to build a new high school

Posted November 8, 2022 at 11:15 AM EST
A woman in a red coat holds a yellow sign that says "YES BHS"
Liam Elder-Connors
Vermont Public
Burlington school board member Polly Vanderputten stands outside the Ward 3 polling place with a sign in support of a bond to build a new high school in the city.

Burlington voters will decide today whether to approve a $165 million dollar bond for a new high school.

Cancer-causing PCBs were discovered in the old building back in 2020. Right now, high schoolers are going to class in the old Macy's department store downtown.

Adam Walker was outside H. O. Wheeler school in the Old North End this morning. He has a school-aged daughter, and he said he voted for the bond "because we're in desperate need of it."

Walker said he feels the district has made reasonable efforts to make use of the old building, but the PCB problem is too big.

Other Burlingtonians feel the bond is just too much money. Red signs reading "Enough is Enough, vote no on B-H-S" were also up around the polling place.

from the field
Return of the cake

After a pandemic pause, cake is back and turnout is high in Mendon

Posted November 8, 2022 at 10:25 AM EST
A woman stands next to a cake the reads, "thank you for voting."
Nina Keck
Vermont Public
Mendon usually has an election day cake, but that tradition was put on hold during the pandemic.

Election day cake is back in Mendon after a two-year break for the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to Town Clerk and Treasurer Nancy Gondella, 45% of local ballots have already been returned and turnout this morning has been strong.

“I think everybody is very passionate, either one way or the other about what they think is going on in politics and I think everybody really thinks that their vote means something for this election,” she said.

Gondella says if voter turnout stays strong, they’re on track to see a 75% turnout.

"This is actually one of my favorite days of the year, because to me, it really is democracy and action, especially the more local votes," she said. "I mean... Vermonters have so much more say in their local, in their state elections, than they do in the federal elections that I say 'Please come vote.' This is when you really get to be heard.”

In addition to local races, Vermonters are electing new representatives to the U.S. House and Senate. There are also two amendments to the state constitution on the ballot.

But Gondella says anger about how votes are counted and the abuse some election officials are receiving across the country saddens her, and she’s grateful she hasn’t experienced that.

"If you are worried, you are come and sit and watch the process," she said. "Pay attention, volunteer. I mean, I have people all the time. And I will add them to my list."

from the field
Local matters

Mail-in ballots lack some local measures

Posted November 8, 2022 at 9:20 AM EST
Three people stand outside a polling place with lawn signs.
Matthew Smith
Vermont Public
Just under 1,800 ballots had been counted by 9 a.m. in Winooski. That includes some ballots cast solely for a local vote on a proposed recycling facility.

All registered voters in Vermont were mailed an absentee ballot, but those ballots don't contain certain local measures. For example, there's a $22 million bond vote for a proposed recycling facility in the Chittenden Solid Waste District.

Secretary of State Jim CondostoldVermont EditionMonday that the issue of missing local measures is something lawmakers will have to address in the future — but that could be complicated.

"It's pretty simple in Chittenden County," said Condos, "because there's 18 towns in Chittenden County. But then if you look at the Northeast Kingdom Solid Waste District, there's like 48 towns spanning three counties."

If you've already voted by mail, you can stop by your polling place today to vote on any local issues not included on your mail-in ballot.

Mirror mirror on the map

Five towns to watch as results come in

Posted November 8, 2022 at 7:33 AM EST

Polling locations around Vermont are open as of 7 a.m. this morning. If you haven’t voted yet, you’ll have to cast your ballot in person. You can find your local polling place here.

Polls are open until 7 p.m. this evening, then results will begin to come in.

As votes are tallied, Vermont Public's senior political correspondent Bob Kinzel will be keeping an eye on results from Bethel, Bristol, Cambridge, Jericho and Randolph.

These five towns that consistently vote for the winning candidates for governor and lieutenant governor — with roughly the same margin of victory as the state as a whole.

He discussed this concept of "mirror towns" on today's episode ofThe Frequency.

from the field
Reapportionment leads to race

Political party leaders keep close eye on NEK House race

Posted November 7, 2022 at 4:00 PM EST

Party leaders will be keeping a close eye tomorrow on one House race in the Northeast Kingdom.

As a result of legislative reapportionment, two incumbent lawmakers — one a Democrat, and one a Republican — are vying to represent Albany, Craftsbury, Glover and Greensboro in the Vermont Statehouse.

Jim Dandeneau, executive director of the Vermont Democratic Party, says he has high hopes for several races in the Northeast Kingdom.

"And what we’ve heard this year is that doors are being opened for Democratic candidates that are knocking on them that were slammed in their faces in 2018," he said.

Two photos, each of a woman with short hair standing outside a business.
Peter Hirschfeld
Vermont Public
Republican Vicki Strong, left, and Democrat Katherine Sims are competing for a single seat in the four-town district in Orleans County.

Paul Dame, executive director of the Vermont GOP, says his party failed to field candidates in some of those districts.

“You know, we are going to see fewer Republican seats in the Northeast Kingdom largely because our recruiting measures fell short," he said.

Republican Vicki Strong and Democrat Katherine Sims are competing for a single seat in the four-town district in Orleans County.

Strong is a vocal opponent of the reproductive rights amendment on the ballot Tuesday. Sims says she’ll proudly vote in favor of Article 22.

Read the full story here.

from the field
Election security

Clerks curing ballots for first time this year

Posted November 7, 2022 at 2:28 PM EST

This election marks the first year that Vermonters can correct a mail-in ballot if they've made a mistake. It's called "curing" ballots. If a town clerk receives a ballot in the wrong envelope or without a signature, they can reach out to the voter to correct the issue.

Tracy Borst, Thetford's town clerk and treasurer and the president of the Vermont Municipal Clerks’ and Treasurers’ Association, said curing ballots is a lot of extra work, but it's worth it.

"The piece that is in place now, the curing of defective ballots, I think is fabulous. In the past, if you did not put your ballot in the certificate envelope, your vote did not count," she said. "Now, with the opportunity to cure them, it's additional work, but I'm glad that the votes can be processed."

This is the first year that universal mail-in voting is a permanent feature of Vermont elections.

from the field
Sign of the times

A new take on the 'Deploy Malloy' sign

Posted November 7, 2022 at 12:51 PM EST

By now, most Vermonters are likely familiar with the campaign signs used by Republican nominee for U.S. Senate and Army veteran Gerald Malloy:

In Burlington's New North End, someone shared a new interpretation:

Malloy faces Democratic nominee Peter Welch, Vermont's current U.S. House member. Both are running to fill the vacancy left by Sen. Patrick Leahy, who is retiring after serving for nearly half a century.

You can find highlights of Vermont Public's debate between Malloy and Welch, here.

from the field
Races to watch

‘Priority race’ pits far-right candidate against incumbent with little online presence for state Senate

Posted November 7, 2022 at 10:00 AM EST

One of the most closely watched state races is the Orange County state Senate seat between GOP candidate John Klar and incumbent Democrat Mark MacDonald, who’s served in the Legislature for nearly 40 years.

“It is clearly competitive,” said Jim Dandeneau, the head of the Vermont Democratic Party. That's because of redistricting this year, and since Klar, of Brookfield, gained statewide name recognition after his run for governor in 2020.

A month before Election Day, MacDonald, of Williamstown, was hospitalized with a stroke. That was hours after a candidate debate in Vershire. He’s been in recovery at the University of Vermont Medical Center since, unable to campaign in person, which is a big deal for him.

“One of Sen. MacDonald’s biggest strengths is dump campaigning,” Dandeneau said. “The man was one of the early evangelists that I talked to about campaigning at the dump on weekends.”

MacDonald has no website or social media presence.

Meanwhile Klar is a prolific blogger and has a steady stream of YouTube videos. He’s campaigning to support local farming, bolster the state pensions system, and oppose new taxes and spending.

He’s also inserted himself into the recent controversy around a trans student athlete in Randolph, criticizing the school's superintendent, and likened progressives who denounce systemic racism to Nazis.

The Vermont Republican Party did not respond to requests for comment.

from the field

Vermonters cast a record number of early votes

Posted November 7, 2022 at 7:00 AM EST
A woman holds an envelope containing a ballot.
Bob Kinzel
Vermont Public
Carol Dawes, Barre City Clerk, counts ballots the week before the election.

Town clerks across the state have already received a record number of mail-in ballots for a non-presidential election. It’s estimated that as many as 50% of all votes cast for Tuesday’s election will be done by mail this year.

Under new state law, all registered voters are sent a ballot roughly 45 days before the election, and voters can either mail them in, drop them off at their local clerk’s office, or bring them in to the polls on Election Day itself.

This is a plan that was used during the pandemic-era general election in 2020, and lawmakers made this method permanent last session. At this point, it’s too late to mail your ballot, so make sure you bring it in person before 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 8.

from the field

Our Vermont 2022 midterm election voter guide is here for you

Posted November 7, 2022 at 5:00 AM EST

The midterm election is Tuesday, Nov. 8. In Vermont, all registered voters should have received an absentee ballot.

If you're still hanging onto that ballot by end of day on Monday, Nov. 7, you need to go to a polling place to drop it off — or fill out a ballot in-person.

And if you're still making up your mind, be sure to check out our voter guide, here.

You can watch debates for all the major statewide races — governor, lieutenant governor, U.S. House and U.S. Senate — or sift through the most important moments for the topics you care about in summaries from Vermont Public reporters.

There's also information and Vermont Public stories about the races for attorney general and secretary of state, as well as the two amendments to Vermont's Constitution that are on the ballot: Proposal 2, the anti-slavery amendment, and Proposal 5, which would enshrine the right to abortion.

Lastly: if you have questions about how to vote, we've got you covered! You can find that in our voting guide, too.

Read Vermont Public's guide to voting in Vermont for the 2022 midterm election.