Vt. election official predicts 70 percent turnout
MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — Vermont’s top election official said Monday he expected about 70 percent turnout on Election Day, and urged all eligible Vermonters to vote.
‘‘Your vote is your voice,’’ said Secretary of State Jim Condos, whose office is overseeing the election.
In addition to voting for the president of the United States, the governor, a U.S. senator, the state’s lone representative to the U.S. House, voters across Vermont will also elect 150 members of the state House of Representatives and 30 members of the state Senate on Tuesday.
Vermont has about 461,000 registered voters, Condos said. He expects about 323,000 of them to head to the polls on Tuesday.
The opening of polling places varies by town, but all must be open by 10 a.m. Polls close at 7 p.m.
Weather should not be a factor on Tuesday.
President Barack Obama is expected to add Vermont’s three electoral votes to his column with ease.
Gov. Peter Shumlin, a Democrat, is being challenged by Republican state Sen. Randy Brock.
U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, an independent, is being challenged by Republican John MacGovern. U.S. Rep. Peter Welch, also a Republican, is being challenged by Republican Mark Donka, a Woodstock police officer.
Retired Middlebury College Political Science Professor Eric Davis says the top-of-the-ticket incumbents are expected to win easily.
In other races, incumbent Lt. Gov. Phil Scott, a Republican, is being challenged by Cassandra Gekas, running as a Democrat and a Progressive. Incumbent Democratic Attorney General William Sorrell is being challenged by Republican Jack McMullen and Progressive Ed Stanak. Democratic Secretary of State Jim Condos has no major-party challenger.
Probably the hardest-fought statewide race is for state treasurer, which pits incumbent Democrat Beth Pearce against Republican Wendy Wilton.
Currently, the 150-member state House has 94 Democrats, 48 Republicans and 8 independents and Progressives. The Senate has 22 Democrats (the number includes one member who describes himself as a member of the ‘‘Progressive-Democrat fusion ticket’’ and another who ran as a ‘‘Progressive-Democrat-working families’’ candidate) and eight Republicans.