The Vermont Statutes Online
The Vermont Statutes Online have been updated to include the actions of the 2023 session of the General Assembly.
NOTE: The Vermont Statutes Online is an unofficial copy of the Vermont Statutes Annotated that is provided as a convenience.
§ 13. Town meeting; elections
(a) Applicability of general laws. Except as otherwise herein limited, provisions of the general laws of the State related to voter qualifications, warnings, methods of voting, duties of town officers at town meeting and elections, counting of votes, recount of votes, certification of results, and nominations of candidates, so far as they may be applicable, shall govern all municipal elections and all annual and special Town meetings.
(b) Annual Town meeting.
(1) On the Monday preceding the first Tuesday in March, beginning at a time and place designated by the Selectboard, the Town shall start its annual meeting and may transact at that time any business not involving Australian ballot. At this meeting, public discussion of ballot issues and all other issues appearing on the warning, other than the election of candidates, shall be permitted.
(2) A meeting so started shall be adjourned until the following day (the first Tuesday in March), at which time business involving Australian ballot will be transacted.
(3) The date or time of the annual Town meeting may be changed by a vote of the citizens at a Town meeting duly warned for that purpose.
(c) Special Town meetings.
(1) Special Town meetings may be called at any time for reasons as prescribed by charter, by a majority vote of the Selectboard, or by the decree of the Town Clerk upon receipt of a petition signed by no less than five percent of the voters registered at the time the petition is submitted, pursuant to 17 V.S.A. § 2643.
(2) A special Town meeting, called in accordance with this subsection, shall be held within 60 days from the date of the official call to meeting.
(1) Timetable and notice. Public notice of every annual or special Town meeting or Town election shall be given by a warning posted in at least three public places in the Town, at least 30 but no more than 40 days prior to the meeting, and published in a newspaper or newspapers of general circulation in the municipality as may be directed or designated by the Selectboard.
(2) Contents. The warning shall contain:
(A) the date, time, and location of the meeting;
(B) specific indications of separate articles that reflect the business to be voted, in the language to be voted;
(C) the signatures of a majority of the Selectboard.
(3) Articles may be placed on the warning by:
(A) a majority vote of the Selectboard;
(B) a petition of at least five percent of the voters registered at the time the petition is submitted, provided law authorizes such articles as within the authority of the voters.
(4) Articles submitted by petition must be filed with the Town Clerk not less than 40 days before the date of the meeting.
(e) Voting by Australian ballot.
(1) No article or type of article shall be voted by Australian ballot at any annual or special Town meeting called on its action, or by petition, unless the voters have approved the use of such system of voting pursuant to 17 V.S.A. § 2680 or as required by law.
(2) Any article to be voted by Australian ballot shall be preceded by a public hearing. The warning of the vote shall include notice of the time and place of said public hearing.
(f) Presiding officials at Town meeting and elections.
(1) The Moderator shall preside at all Town meetings. In the Moderator’s absence or prior to the election of the Moderator, a Selectboard member shall call the meeting to order and the first order of business shall be the election of a Moderator Pro Tempore to preside for the duration of the meeting.
(2) Town meetings shall be conducted in accordance with State law, this charter, and Robert’s Rules of Order, Revised.
(3) It shall be the duty of the Moderator to take such actions deemed necessary to preserve order in the conduct of business and to preserve the principles of free speech, openness, and fairness in government.
(4) The Town Clerk shall be the presiding official at all Australian ballot elections and in cooperation with the Board of Civil Authority shall ensure that all laws related to elections are faithfully observed.
(5) While the polls are open, the Town Clerk shall rule on all questions covering the conduct of elections, except the resolution of questions concerning the checklist, which shall be made by the majority of the Board of Civil Authority members present.
(6) In the absence or disability of the Town Clerk, should it occur before an election, the Board of Civil Authority shall designate an acting Clerk for the duration of the election. Should such absence or disability occur on election day, the Board of Civil Authority shall designate an on-site temporary officer to preside for the duration of the election. (Added 2003, No. M-11 (Adj. Sess.), § 2, eff. May 3, 2004; amended 2007, No. M-8, §§ 3 and 4, eff. April 17, 2007; 2019, No. M-5, § 2, eff. May 23, 2019.)