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Town Meeting Day: What's That All About?

Posted on 2/25/2024 by Erik H. Reisner

Town Meeting Day


Vermont is truly a wonderful place to live for many reasons. The scenic beauty, abundant recreational opportunities, farm-to-table food options from produce to meat, no billboards, and six weather seasons just to mention a few! Are all these things unique to Vermont? No, but the combination of features that allow for a high quality of life are truly abundant here in the Green Mountain State.

Another feature that is not 100% unique to Vermont, but a very big part of local government throughout the State: Town Meeting Day. Dating back to the 1700s, Town Meeting Day is now held throughout the State in almost every municipality on the first Tuesday in March. The saying that “politics starts locally” rings true in Vermont thanks to this annual tradition. It’s an opportunity for resident citizens to not only cast their vote on budgets and to elect local town officers, but also to literally have their voices heard.

This tradition is so important in fact that Town Meeting Day is an official State Holiday. This means that public schools are closed, and state employees have the day off. Additionally, for the first time in 2009 employees have the right to take unpaid leave to attend Town Meeting. Some municipalities even offer daycare so that their citizens with young children can participate.

Some of the voting is done by Australian Ballot, that is, anonymously via filling out a ballot with a slate of candidates for various elected positions. However, some items are dealt with on the floor during the meeting often by a show of hands or verbal expressions of “yea” or “neigh.” In an era of polarizing national politics, it’s refreshing to know that this type of democracy still exists here in Vermont.

Town Meeting Day is Tuesday, March 4, 2024. If you are a resident, we encourage you to attend your local Town Meeting, listen to others, and use your voice to support any issues that are important to you. 


5513 Main Street, Waitsfield, VT 05673 | 802-496-5000 |