In response to the ongoing health concerns posed by COVID-19, the Governor signed Act 1 (H.42) of 2023 on January 25, 2023. The law does the following:
Allows municipalities to postpone their 2023 and/or 2024 annual meeting to a later (and potentially safer) date. It is up to the municipality to decide the later date. Allows municipalities to apply the Australian ballot system to its annual town meeting held in the year 2023 and/or 2024 by vote of its legislative body. Allows municipalities to conduct the informational hearings (required when using Australian ballot) by electronic means without appointing a physical location. Clarifies that municipal officers will serve until the annual meeting and when successors are chosen if a legislative body chooses to move the date of either the 2023 and/or 2024 annual meeting.
When municipalities hold informational hearings in conjunction with this law, they must:
- Use technology that allows the public to attend by electronic or other means.
- Allow the public to access the meeting by telephone.
- Include and post information on how the public can access the meeting electronically in its agenda.
- Record the hearings.
The decision to switch to Australian ballot voting is optional.
Note also that, if the legislative body votes to use Australian ballot, an informational hearing will be required pursuant to 17 V.S.A. § 2680(h) in order to provide an opportunity for public discussion of the ballot items. Act 1 (H. 42) of 2023 allows for entirely remote informational hearings. We have developed an Australian Ballot Info Sheet for those new to this form of voting, as well as a Remote Public Informational Hearing Toolkit which can be found in the Resources below.
Vermont town meeting is direct democracy practiced in its purest form. It is the key to town government, as voters determine the town business for the coming year.
VLCT’s Municipal Assistance Center (MAC) has current online resources on a variety of town meeting topics for your Town Meeting Day preparation needs. Please refer to our town meeting resources at the bottom of this page. In addition, our downloadable Municipal Calendar includes additional town meeting related dates. Each town office received an updated print poster in July 2022.
If you have questions about this or any of our other municipal law topics, resources, and services, click here:
|2023 Town Meeting Deadlines||Date|
|First day to post warnings and notices||Thursday, January 26, 2023|
|Last day to post warnings and notices||Sunday February 5, 2023|
|Last day to distribute Annual Auditor's Report||Saturday, February 25, 2023|
|Town Meeting Day||Tuesday, March 7, 2023.|
*unless the town has voted to give notice of the report’s availability
Note: If the legislative body chooses to postpone the meeting date per H.42, all relevant dates should be changed to correspond with the day on which the municipality holds its town meeting.
General Elections Information and Resources for the Public
If you are looking for general information on elections, election results, or running for local office, please call 802-828-2363 or visit the Vermont Secretary of State’s Office, Elections Division's website. The Elections Division also maintains an elections calendar.
The resources listed below are for informational purposes only. While we make every effort to provide members with current information, these documents are not legal advice or a substitute for legal counsel. This information does not create, and receipt of it does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. You should not rely or act upon this information without seeking professional counsel. VLCT makes no express or implied guarantee of legal enforceability or legal compliance.