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The Valley Reporter
P.O. Box 119
Waitsfield, VT 05673

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Vote Australian ballot

To the Editor:

At Town Meeting on Tuesday, voters in Waitsfield and Warren have the opportunity to approve the Australian ballot election for budget proposals, the same method used for electing town and school board officials.

Of the many reasons promoted on behalf of the Australian ballot, or sometimes called "secret ballot," the one that stands out the most perhaps is that one particular vote of yours that actually counts for something, i.e., real numbers that guide select boards and school boards in determining budgets and taxes.

Balance that against the traditional voice vote of only those people actually present at Town Meeting. It is a method that is not so much a voice vote as it is a crowd vote. Yes, voice votes are a tradition in Vermont, a very quaint tradition that more traditionally "follows the leader."

Also, it is downright wrong to throw out the method of absentee ballots so much needed in today's society. Not everyone can get to a Town Meeting. Many, many working people are deprived of a voice in their local government because of a method that is not only unfair, it is by today's standards unwarranted.

Ask the residents of Moretown, who have been approving — and disapproving — budgets for years by means of the Australian ballot. No way will they give it up.

John Hilferty



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