It's All Certified: Vermont's August Primary Spurred Heavy Voter Turnout

Aug 21, 2018

Fears of low turnout for Vermont’s midsummer primary proved to be unfounded, as the final vote counts certified by the Secretary of State’s office Tuesday show historically high participation in last week’s primary elections.

Secretary of State Jim Condos said more than 107,000 people cast ballots in the primary, the second-highest primary election turnout by vote count in state history.

Vermont began holding primary elections on the second Tuesday in August back in 2016. Since then, the state has seen the two highest turnout totals ever for a primary.

“I think it does say that the second Tuesday of August does work,” Condos said Tuesday. “Keep in mind, we have things like early voting — which is 45 days ahead of time.”

Secretary of State Jim Condos said more than 107,000 people cast ballots in the primary, the second-highest primary election turnout by vote count in state history.

Condos met with officials from the Democratic, Republican and Progressive parties Tuesday morning to certify final election results.

Lt. Gov. David Zuckerman, who appeared on the Democratic primary ballot and won that race, received enough write-in votes on Progressive Party ballots to receive that party’s nomination as well. The same was true of U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders and State Auditor Doug Hoffer, who — despite running as Democrats — also won as write-in candidates on Progressive Party ballots.

A statewide candidate needs to receive at least 250 votes to win a party’s nomination as a write-in candidate.

Essex-Orleans District Sen. John Rodgers, who staged a write-in campaign for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination, received about 1,000 votes in that race. Republican Gov. Phil Scott was the leading write-in candidate on Democratic ballots, taking more than 2,500 votes.