As the midterm elections draw near, amid a torrent of tough to read stories about the decline of American democracy, some good news is most welcome. Well we just learned that a record number of Vermonters have registered to vote. Coming from the secretary of state’s office on Tuesday morning , a report was released showing there are 481,111 registered citizens in Vermont. This comprises about 92.5 percent of the 520,000 eligible voters in the state.
The announcement released by the Secretary of State’s office points out that the high number of registered voters is the result of the voter registration system that launched in January 2017. This system permitted voters to register to vote automatically when they update their driver’s licenses or any form of identification at the Department of Motor Vehicles – a practice referred to nationwide as a motor voter law. Vermont’s motor voter law clearly succeeding in making it easier and faster for voters to registered.
Between January 1st to October 11th 2018, a total number of about 16,000 of the 30,400 voter registrations had been completed through the motor voter law and 7,000 registrations were completed through the Secretary of State’s new registration online system.
Amazingly, it is predicted that the impact of the motor voter law has only begun to be felt. The state expects an increase the number of voters registration in the next few years giving that driver’s licenses are renewed every after 4 years. Secretary of State Jim Condos recently pointed this out, saying, “It takes us a full cycle before we get everybody; the goal is we’re going to get as many eligible Vermonters as possible to be registered to vote.”
One warning though: In order to be able to vote in Vermont, you have to take the state’s “Voter’s Oath”, also known as the “Freeman’s Oath”, found in the Vermont Constitution in Chapter II, Section 42. Brace yourself good citizens, here is the oath in its entirety:
“You solemnly swear or affirm that whenever you give your vote or suffrage, touching any matter that concerns the State of Vermont, you will do it so as in your conscience you shall judge will most conduce to the best good of the same, as established by the Constitution, without fear or favor of any person.”