Vermont governor vetoes youth voting in Brattleboro

February 28, 2022 GMT

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — Vermont Gov. Phil Scott on Monday vetoed a bill that would have allowed 16- and 17-year-olds to vote in local elections in Brattleboro.

Scott, a Republican, wrote in his veto letter to lawmakers that there are inconsistencies in Vermont law on the age of adulthood and lowering the voting age in Brattleboro would make the problem worse. He also said voting policies should be consistent statewide.

“I do not support creating a patchwork of core election laws and policies that are different from town to town. The fundamentals of voting should be universal and implemented statewide,” he wrote.

Scott said he understood that the proposed charter change in Brattleboro that would have lowered the voting age was a well-intentioned local issue.

“I urge the Legislature to take up a thorough and meaningful debate on Vermont’s age of majority and come up with consistent, statewide policy for both voting and criminal justice,” he wrote.