Taking the pulse: Voters weigh in on in-person voting


WEST RUTLAND/PROCTOR — It was a frigid day, but that did deter voters from showing up to the Town Hall for Town Meeting Day. The Reporter visited respective polling places in Westside and Proctor to take the temperature of those who braved the single digits to cast their ballots in person during a pandemic.

Here’s a log of what we found:

West Rutland Town Hall

11:13 a.m. — “It’s just something I’ve always done,” said voter Liz Socinski, when asked why she chose to cast her ballot in-person. “[The town] usually has a food drive so I always vote in person so I can bring some goodies.” Socinski owns and operates Artistic Memorials in West Rutland.


11:27 a.m. — Voter Buddy Herron said that voting in-person “just feels right” and he likes the sense of normalcy it brings during the pandemic.

“As a town, we need this,” said Herron. “We need to have these moments where we come together.”

He said he believes that the ballot items regarding future roadwork in the town are some of the most important on the docket this year.

“Driving through Vermont, it’s mostly small towns, you know?” he said. “We’ve let things go as far as our infrastructure goes. It’s important to keep up on those things.”


11:44 a.m. — West Rutland Town Moderator Michael Moser arrived at the polls Tuesday excited to vote and to make a quick visit to his wife Elizabeth, a town official who plans to count ballots all day.

“Why not vote in-person?” he said with a chuckle.

Though he doesn’t think there is anything too controversial on the ballot this year, he made a point of mentioning talks of merging West Rutland schools with other local districts.

“It’s something to keep in mind. I think a lot of people are going to be very on-the-fence about it.”


Proctor Jr./Sr.High School

12:18 p.m. — Proctor native George Smith pulled up to cast his vote today at Proctor Jr./Sr. High school — quite fittingly — in a school bus. Smith, 63, works as a transportation driver and dropped his ballot on his way to Middlebury this afternoon. Not only does he like voting in-person so he can “say hi to the girls” working the booths, but he usually brings cookies for a bake sale the town hosts throughout the day. This year, with absentee ballots coming in by the hundreds, Smith came cookie-less.

“You know, I’m not all that much into politics, but I can’t think of any other way I’d like to vote. Plus, honestly, I didn’t know there was any other option,” he said with a hearty laugh.

Note:Sophie Buckley-Clement is a Castleton State University journalism intern.

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