Annual Town Meeting

Town Meeting – The Vermont Way

The annual town meeting is very much a Vermont tradition exemplifying the ideal of citizen driven direct democracy. The meeting is always the day before the first Tuesday in March when the budget is voted on. So think of Town Meeting as a dinner with two courses… the first course is the “meeting” part that happens the evening before, and the next day when you vote is the second course. Monday is where the annual report, next year's budget, ballot items, and topics specific to town meeting will be discussed. Town Voting Day is on Tuesday and is when you will vote on the budget, and vote for the Select Board and School Boards.

Town Meeting Day for 2024 will be 7 pm Monday evening, March 4, 2024. (Voting Day is Tuesday March 5th, 2024) 




Town Budget
Work on the town budget takes up much of the month of January. Information about the proposed budget and any notices about budget meetings can be found on the Select Board page. The proposed budget has been approved by the Select Board and is linked below. Town residents will vote on the proposed budget on Tuesday, March 5th.




Now Make Sure to VOTE! Tuesday, March 5, 2024,  7:00 am to 7:00 pm

Participating in the Town Meeting is the first step, but the critical next step is to VOTE and make your voice heard. In addition to voting on the budget, residents will be voting for Select Board members, Town Clerk, and school boards.

Important reminders to voters about the Presidential Primary on Tuesday: Unlike our state August primary, voters in a presidential primary must declare which ballot they want to vote. This does not oblige you to consider yourself a member of a party, but you will only be given one ballot to take to the voting booth. Sample ballots are posted outside polling places so you can see both ballots before you choose. Both the Republican and Democratic ballots have space for a write-in selection. Only votes for actual persons are tallied and reported on Election Night in Vermont. Fictional names, Uncommitted or illegible entries in the write-in line will be considered blank ballots.
 
If you received a mailed ballot, please drop it in our drop box located at 205 South Street  before 4:30 PM on March 4th or bring it to your polling place before 7 p.m. on Tuesday, March 5th.

EARLY VOTING will begin by February 15. We DO NOT automatically mail ballots; they MUST be requested from our Town Clerk. You can email townclerk@benningtonvt.org or call 802-442-1043 to have one mailed to you, or stop by the Town Offices located at 205 South Street in Bennington. You may also use our official ballot drop box located in front of the Town Office to return your ballot. The ballot box is open until close of business on March 4. The ballot box is under 24 hour video surveillance and is checked daily. NOTE: The ballot drop box is NOT AVAILABLE on March 5; ballots must be brought to the polling place (see in person voting below). You may also mail it to us at PO Box 469, Bennington, VT 05201.

IN PERSON VOTING will be on March 5, 2024, from 7:00 am to 7:00 pm. The polling place is the Bennington Fire Facility located at 130 River Street (use Lincoln Street entrance). For North Bennington residents, your polling location is at the Village Trustees Office on Main Street (also known as the Old Train Station). Handicapped accessible voting: individuals are welcome to contact the Town of Bennington ADA coordinator and/or the Town Clerk's office at least three weeks prior to any election to identify any specific needs or requirements to enable them to exercise their right to vote in person. READ MORE about ADA accessibility for elections.


Elections for the Select Board and School Boards - DEADLINE January 29, 5:00 pm
Traditionally, candidates for these positions begin campaigning right after the holidays, but can start anytime in December. The deadline for all required paperwork and petitions is six weeks prior to Town Meeting. This year that makes the deadline to be on the ballot January 29, 2024, at 5:00 pm. (note: the Town Clerks office ONLY will be open until 5:00 pm)

How to Run for Select Board and School Boards
Candidates for the Select and School Boards usually begin campaigning right after the December holidays. To run for a seat on the Select Board or a School Board, you should start by contacting the Town Clerk. Forms are available in December. To be on the ballot you need to fill out a “Consent of Candidate" form and have a petition signed by 30 registered voters in the Town that is specific to the position you are seeking. The Town Clerk will guide you on how to properly fill out the form and petition to ensure there are no problems. The form is available by the secretary of state on the Vermont.gov website, but it is highly recommended that you pick it up at the Town Clerk’s office so they can assist you and prevent errors. See below for deadlines for submitting paperwork.

Seats Up For Election at Town Meeting 2024:

Town Select Board
2 seats,  3-year term

Town Clerk
1 seat,  3-year term

MT. Anthony Union School District
Bennington, one seat open, 2-year term
Bennington, one seat open, 3-year term
Pownal, one seat open, 3-year term
Pownal, one seat open, 1 year term
Shaftsbury, one seat open, 3-year term
Woodford, one seat open, 3-year term
North Bennington, one seat open, 2-year term

SW. VT Union Elementary School District
Moderator, 3-year term
Clerk, 3-year term
Treasurer, 3-year term
Bennington, one seat, 3-year term
Pownal, one seat, 2-year term
Woodford, one seat, 3-year term
Shaftsbury, one seat, 3-year term

SW VT Regional Technical School District
Four open seats, 3-year term



Prior Year Town Meeting
Here is the information from the 2023 Meeting Day for reference. 

CLICK HERE FOR 2023 ELECTION RESULTS

Resources:

2023 Sample Ballots