Mail-in ballots, large in-person turnout make for busy election day Props 2 and 5 pass, Democratic candidates win Windsor Senate seats, sheriff's office

Voters arrived early in Chester to mark their ballots. All photos by Shawn Cunningham.

By Shawn Cunningham
© 2022 Telegraph Publishing LLC

Town clerks across the area on Election Day morning said that especially large numbers of voters had cast ballots early, returning the general election ballots sent to them by the Vermont Secretary of State. At the same time, they noted there was also steady traffic at polling places and were predicting a large turnout overall. One glitch complicated the proceedings though as many voters arrived at the polls without the ballots they received in the mail. Those people were obliged to fill out an affidavit saying that they had either not received the ballot or had lost or misplaced it before they could be given a new ballot.

Bruce Johnson casts an early ballot in Chester on Tuesday.

By 9:13 a.m. – just 13 minutes after the polls opened – the scanning tabulator at Chester’s Town Hall had already registered 20 votes with at least half a dozen people at the polling place filling out ballots. That was on top of the 705 ballots returned by the end of the day Monday. In the end, 1,427 of Chester’s 2,432 registered voters cast ballots in this election.

When the Cavendish polling place at the Proctorsville Fire House opened at 10 a.m.,  there was already a line despite the town having received 366 mail-in ballots from a voter checklist of 1,172.

Likewise, Andover received 129 mail-in ballots out of 413 registered voters; Weston received 260 mail-in ballots out of a checklist of 538; Londonderry received 500 mail-in ballots out of 1,610 voters; and Grafton received 235 mail-in ballots out of its checklist of 546.

And tiny Windham had more than 50 percent of its vote come in early with 170 mail-in ballots out of a checklist of just 325.

Note: Election night results are unofficial until town clerks have the opportunity to do the housekeeping that comes with elections. For example, 11 ballots were damaged and could not be counted by the optical scanner in Chester. Those ballots will be counted on Wednesday morning. But because of the wide margins in the general election races they will not have an effect on the overall outcome.

Michael Kell casts the first vote in Cavendish

In one of the more visible contests Heather Chase bested Eva Ryan 1,308 to 803 to take the seat a the Vermont House. While Tom Bock served Chester, Andover, Baltimore and North Springfield in the House for the past six years, Chase was elected in a new district that includes Grafton, Athens, Chester and Windham. In another closely watched race, voters in the four towns of the Green Mountain Unified School District narrowly defeated a $20 million bond proposal, which would pay for renovating three aging school buildings.

Constitutional amendments pass by wide margins

Voters check in at the polling place in Londonderry

Proposition 2, which will amend the state Constitution regarding slavery, and Proposition 5, which will constitutionally ensure reproductive rights including abortion, passed by wide margins in area towns.

Prop 2 was approved by 699 to 76 in Londonderry; 1,153 to 150 in Chester; 210 to 89 in Andover; 276 to 43 in Grafton; 314 to 34 in Weston and 511 to 95 in Cavendish.

Although votes were marginally closer, Prop 5 prevailed in Derry 644 to 161;   996 to 349 in Chester; 210 to 89 in Andover; 253 to 71 in Grafton; , 301 to 56 in Weston; and 442 to 192 in Cavendish.

Windsor County Senate incumbents, Rep. White win; Palmer in as sheriff

Contested races for countywide seats in Windsor County went heavily for Democrats in Chester, Andover, Weston and Cavendish with Becca White joining incumbents Dick McCormack and Alison Clarkson in winning the three county Senate seats. Their overall totals according to the Secretary of State’s Election Results page were Clarkson 17,027, White 16,728 and McCormack 16,523.

Likewise, those four towns added heavily to Ryan Palmer’s vote totals as he easily ousted incumbent Windsor County Sheriff Mike Chamberlain from office. That race saw Palmer garner 15,629 votes to Chamberlain’s 9,824.


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