August 9 will be here much sooner than we think and the primary election this year is very important. Two years with COVID-19 and with the virus now considered endemic, it is more important than ever to be sure you are registered at your current address, even if it is only a move within your same town so there will be no confusion when you go to the polls. If you are an elder and/or have disabilities that make it difficult to stand in line on August 9, you may want to have your ballot mailed to you or drop by the town or city clerk’s office early to make sure your vote is counted.


As a former member of several Boards of Civil Authority, I know how differently voting is done in small towns and cities in Vermont and elsewhere, with many traditions followed that are quite unique in some municipalities. Vermonters do not have to register for just one party but must choose only one party ballot when they vote in the primary.

Do you know where to go to cast your vote? Are you familiar with the candidates' positions on the issues that are most important to you? Have you been following where their campaign money is coming from and their positions on those issues of most importance to you and the people you love? Or are you among the vast majority of residents in your town or city who have confidence that your neighbors will do the job for you or that you just won’t like any of those folks who are choosing to work hard for us to keep our democracy strong? Some say: “What does it really matter, anyway?”

All we have to do to lose our great democratic way of life is to not do our civic duty by not voting. This year we have many new choices. So many legislators have either chosen not to run or have decided to run for higher office. Please attend the many candidate forums, either in person or virtually to meet the candidates, learn their priorities, understand their positions, and review the propositions that will be coming up in November.

The only thing that stays the same these days is change. If you want to be a part of that change, be sure to educate yourself and take action. We are no longer living in the 1950s and climate change, immigration, diversity, morality, inflation, lifestyles and income inequality are gradually changing our communities and the whole United States of America.

“Your vote is your voice! Use it or lose it.”

Bisbee is an 85-year-old elder with disabilities, at least a sixth generation Vermonter and a native of Waitsfield.