St. Johnsbury residents opt for secret ballot votes

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St. Johnsbury voters are one step closer to using more secret ballots to decide town business.

On Tuesday, townspeople voted overwhelmingly to expand the use of the so-called Australian ballot. The vote would replace the traditional voice vote from the floor of the town meeting in favor of all-day, ballot voting on municipal and school budgets.

St. Johnsbury already uses Australian ballot voting for special appropriations and the election of town officials. Many feel the traditional Town Meeting Day voting excludes those who are unable to attend the meetings, which in some cases can take all day.

But St. Johnsbury’s move to Australian ballot must be approved by the Legislature.

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