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House votes to override veto of Brattleboro youth voting

March 13, 2022 GMT

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — The Vermont House on Friday voted to override Gov. Phil Scott’s veto of a charter change in Brattleboro that would allow 16- and 17-year-olds to vote in the town’s local elections.

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

The Vermont Senate is expected to take up the veto next week, WCAX-TV reported.

Brattleboro residents had approved a ballot measure for the initiative in 2019, sending it to the Vermont Legislature, the Brattleboro Reformer reported. In February, the Select Board urged Scott not to veto the bill.

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“Please respect the will of our local vote for this Brattleboro-only initiative that only affects our municipal elections,” the board said. “By saying yes, you will help the youth of Brattleboro to develop an early, healthy civic investment and engagement in their community and for both our youth and the people of Brattleboro to be truly heard by approving this youth-affirming municipal governance charter change.”