By MADELINE HUGHES
Vermont voters turned out in droves for the Nov. 7 midterm election and local turnout not only followed that trend, it exceeded it significantly in Charlotte.
A whopping 73 percent of registered voters cast ballots in Charlotte. Hinesburg also beat the statewide trend with just over 58 percent of those on the checklist participating.
Overall in Vermont, 56.9 percent of registered voters took part, according to statistics compiled by the Vermont Secretary of State’s office.
Charlotte saw a significant increase in voter participation over the 2014 midterm election. In 2014, just 48 percent of voters cast ballots. This year, the 73 percent turnout was closer to the 2016 presidential election that drew 79 percent voter turnout. In addition, 840 voters cast ballots ahead of Election Day, according to Charlotte Town Clerk Mary Mead.
On Election Day, Mead also registered 31 new voters, bringing the total number of new voters in Charlotte to 328, she said.
There was also a “frenzy over the ‘I Voted’ stickers, which was interesting,” Mead added.
In Hinesburg, 2,388 ballots were cast, more than 700 beyond the 2014 midterm election and just under the 2016 Presidential Election turnout by 299 votes. In early voting, 811 Hinesburg residents returned ballots.
Hinesburg Town Clerk Melissa Ross registered 51 people to vote on Election Day, bringing the total number of new Hinesburg voters registered in 2018 to 357.
“It was a steady stream, people seemed happy and engaged and excited about the possible national outcomes,” Ross said of Election Day. “Additionally, we had quite a few first-time voters who were really excited to be part of such a groundswell of voting enthusiasm. We try to cheer and make a big deal of their initiation.”