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Town Hall Meeting

If you remember town hall meetings from civics classes in elementary and middle school and thought they were long gone, think again.  Vermont probably has the greatest amount of town hall meetings still in existence, with almost every town (except for Burlington and Montpelier, I think) hosting a town hall meeting.  From what I understand, most schools and businesses are closed during the meetings and VLS even closed the school for the day in order to encourage students to participate in the process.  A couple of friends and I went to the South Royalton meeting this past Tuesday to observe this local level of democracy.  We arrived just in time as a discussion was starting, which I found out later was the only discussion of the day.  During the process, residents got up to share their views on the subject and had a discussion.  It was really interesting to watch as people voiced their opinions and everyone was heard.  I was not able to vote b/c I am not a registered voter in Vermont, but it was fascinating to watch regardless.  People voted by raising their colored card in the air when the vote was called and majority ruled.  If it is close, 7 people can request a paper ballot, which are distributed, collected, and counted immediately.  The whole process was very interesting and I highly recommend it if you attend VLS next year.

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