April 10 2017
Who Won the Student Vote in Burlington's Town Election?
By: Rich Hosford
It wasn’t just registered voters casting ballots during Burlington’s Town Election.
As they have for almost two decades, volunteers in conjunction with Town Clerk Amy Warfield held a “Student Vote” to give Burlington children a chance to learn about participating in the election process.
Each Town Election, volunteers create a separate voting area for students that is designed to look like an actual voting booth. The kids are given the chance to cast ballots in all the town-wide races.
Dr. Edward Weiner, who started the program, said the Student Vote has the “goal of providing an early understanding of the process of American Democracy.”
The children’s votes don’t count, of course, but it is a good way to get them used to voting. But for fun, let’s look at how the election turnout would be different if we went by their votes alone to pick the winners.
In most races the outcome of the Student Vote mirrored that of the adults. In the Town Moderator race Bill Beyer beat incumbent Sally Willard by a vote of 91 to 70. In the actual vote Beyer won 1,672 to 1,115.
The kids also chose the same winner in the Board of Selectmen race as the adults but switched it up for second and third place. In the Student Vote Jim Tigges garnered 107 votes, Virginia Mooney received 30 and Joan Kennedy-Constant received 24. In the actual vote Tigges got 1,692, Kennedy-Constant had 921 and Mooney received 216.
Finally, in the Recreation Commission race, the third contested race of the election, the kids again chose the same winner as the adults. Kevin Sullivan received 84 votes and Timothy Burke got 67. In the official results Sullivan had 2,047 and Burke had 593.