To learn more about voting in the Town of Brattleboro, click on the options below. You can also view this Frequently Asked Questions section as a single document by clicking here.
How do I register to vote?
- Brattleboro residents can visit the Brattleboro Town Clerk’s office before the election or register to vote at the polling place. Vermont allows same day voter registration, and the Town Clerk’s office staff will be available at the polling place to register voters.
- To register to vote online visit: olvr.vermont.gov.
- The Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) also provides automatic voter registration when renewing or requesting a driver’s license (you can opt out by unchecking a box).
Do I need an ID?
That depends. When registering to vote online or by mail you will be asked for ID. The ID should contain your current Brattleboro address and a name, this can be a photocopy of a driver’s license or permit, or a piece of mail from a utility or a bank. To register in-person we ask for a driver’s license number or the last 4 digits of your social security number.
If you are registering in Brattleboro from another town in Vermont, you do not need ID.
After registering you will not be asked for ID to check-in at the polls or to request an absentee ballot.
To find or update your voter registration online visit: MVP.Vermont.gov.
Can I vote if I'm homeless?
Yes. Underhoused and unhoused Brattleboro residents can register to vote by using their most recent or frequent sleeping location. This information helps us assign the correct district to a voter.
Can 16- and 17-year-olds vote?
Yes. Youth voters in Brattleboro have specific allowances when voting or seeking an elected position.
The 2023 Vermont legislature passed a Brattleboro Town Charter change (H.386) that now allows 16- and 17-year-olds to vote and run in local elections. This does not include school, state, or national elections.
17-year-olds can vote in Presidential Primary Elections if they turn 18 by the November General Election. For example, a 17-year-old turning 18 between March 5 and November 5, 2024, can vote on the Town Meeting Day ballot and the Presidential Primary ballot. Including those with November 5 birthdates.
Those same 17-year-old voters can also vote in the State Primaries in August. However, 16-and-17-year-olds cannot vote in unified school district elections.
How do I vote?
There are three ways:
- Vote in person at the polls. If you live in Brattleboro Vermont your polling place is the American Legion Post 5, on 32 Linden Street. Polls open at 7 a.m. and close at 7 p.m. Parking is available, and the side entrance is chair accessible.You will enter the American Legion Post 5 and find your voting district with our helpful poll workers. Please also check the informational booth for sample ballots and write-in information before entering the polling room.
- Vote early at the Brattleboro Town Clerk’s office, 230 Main Street, Suite 108. Vote in the Town Clerk’s office up to 20 days in advance of election day. The Town Clerk’s office is open Monday-Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- Vote Absentee by requesting a ballot sent to you in the mail. Absentee ballots can be requested from the Town Clerk’s office or by visiting MVP.vermont.gov. With an absentee ballot a voter can vote from anywhere and drop off or mail back their ballot in a provided protective envelope. Since 2020 November General Election ballots are automatically mailed to registered voters by the Vermont Secretary of State. Presidential Primary Elections are an exception because voters need to declare a party.
If I make a mistake on my ballot, can I fix it?
Yes, but the marks on a ballot are not erasable. If you are voting in-person a poll worker will be able to help you replace your ballot. If you vote absentee and make an error, contact the Town Clerk’s office before you return your ballot.
Can someone pick up my absentee ballot for me?
If you are visiting the Town Clerk’s office to request absentee ballots for someone else, we will mail their ballots to them. Ballots must be handed to the individual voter, not a spouse, child, or parent. In some situations, two Justices of the Peace hand-deliver absentee ballots to voters by request.
Is the absentee ballot different from an in-person ballot?
No. The ballots are all official ballots regardless of delivery method.
An absentee ballot mailed out is the same ballot you would be given in person.
What if I have an absentee ballot but I want to vote in-person instead?
There are 2 options available.
- We recommend that you bring your absentee ballot with you to the polling place and use it to vote in-person. We also offer to exchange absentee ballots for an unfolded or unwrinkled ballot.
- If you arrive at the polling place without your absentee ballot, poll workers will give you the option to sign a document of oath that your absentee ballot will not be used to vote. After signing, you will be issued a new ballot to vote in-person.
I filled out my absentee ballot, now where does it go?
- Sign the certificate envelope.
- Put your ballot inside the signed envelope.
- Seal up the signed envelope.
- Put the signed envelope inside the large return envelope and seal that too.
- Now you are ready to return your absentee ballot.
Mail: To return ballots by mail use any mail carrier or USPS drop box and remember to allow plenty of time for mail delivery. If a ballot is not received by 7pm on the day of the election it cannot be counted, even if it’s postmarked before the election.
Drop off: If you have not mailed your absentee ballot a week before the election, we suggest dropping it off at the Town Drop Box in the Municipal Center parking lot or handing it to a staff person in the Town Clerk’s office.
At the polls: You can bring your absentee ballot to the polling location and drop it off in the absentee ballot box during the election up to 7pm.
We cannot give your absentee ballots to others, but you can have a trusted person return your absentee ballot for you if it is sealed in the correct signed envelopes.
How will I know if my absentee ballot was received?
Declarations: Why do I have to choose a party to receive my ballot?
We are required to ask which party you are voting for when we distribute Presidential Primary ballots. The Primary ballots are for candidates from either the Democratic or Republican party. We will ask which ballot you want, but your ballot choice is not assigned to your voter registration.
Vermont does not require any voter to declare a party while registering to vote. Declaring is only required during Presidential Primary elections every four years (and not required for State Primary elections). This was established circa 1970 as a compromise between the Democratic and Republican parties and the state of Vermont.
Why are there different ballots for one election day?
In Vermont, many elections are combined into the same day for convenience. Town Meeting Day is a state-wide election day for local government offices. These include Constable, Lister, Selectboard, Trustee of Public Funds, and only in Brattleboro, Town Meeting Member. This ballot is also what 16- and 17-year-old voters in Brattleboro receive.
The Unified School District also holds elections for School Board offices on annual Town Meeting Day and requires its own ballot.
Every 4 years Vermont uses state-wide Town Meeting Day to also host Presidential Primary Elections. The General Election occurs in November.
Every 2 years the state of Vermont holds elections for state offices. That Primary Election is in August every other year, and the General Election follows in November. Every 4 years in November there is the General Election for President and Vermont state elections on the same day.
When are Vermont elections?
There is a convenient calendar of elections posted on our website. As a handy reminder, if the year is an even number ending in 0, 2, 4, 6, or 8, there will be a state Primary Election in August and a General Election in November. Meanwhile, every year there is an annual Town Meeting Day in March.
- Vermont Town Meeting Day is always held on the first Tuesday in March.
- The Unified School District Board Member elections are also on annual Town Meeting Day.
EVERY 2 YEARS:
- Vermont state Primary Elections are in August, with Vermont state General Elections in November.
- August elections happen on the second Tuesday of the month.
- November elections happen on the first Tuesday that falls after the first Monday of the month.
EVERY 4 YEARS:
- Presidential Primaries are in March, on the first Tuesday. This is scheduled with Town Meeting Day.
- General Elections are in November on the first Tuesday that falls after the first Monday.
How do I know what will be on the ballot?
Once the ballots are finalized sample ballots will be available to the public online and at the polls in an informational booth.
Poll workers cannot discuss or advise voters about candidates or items/topics up for vote. The sample ballot is a useful tool for researching those items before voting.
Brattleboro has 3 voting districts, and each district requires a Town Meeting Day, General, and State Primary ballot that is unique to that district. You can find out your district by contacting the Town Clerk’s office, using one of our district maps, or checking your registration at the My Voter Page at: mvp.vermont.gov.
Can I bring my phone with me when I vote?
Yes, cell phones are allowed inside the polling place, we ask that you hold your phone calls until you are outside and not use your phone in a way that may disrupt other voters. Bringing a smart phone might help you do last minute research if you read the ballot and have questions. Poll workers can’t answer questions about who to vote for or what the wording means on a ballot.
What items are not allowed at a polling place?
Displayed literature or merchandise regarding candidates and items that are on the ballot. This means posters, hats, T-shirts, pins, and stickers with a candidate’s name on them, or that say “vote yes” or “vote no” on a specific article. Like, “Vote No on Article II”. Literature that you plan to use for personal use in the voting booth can be brought in if it is not displayed publicly and is not left in the voting booth.