Making Democracy Work

Positions on Voter Rights and Government

LWV-VT Consensus on Instant Runoff Voting (1999)

In accordance with the LWV's position of promoting political responsibility through informed and active participation of citizens in government, the LWVVT will support legislation that assures that the candidate preferred by a majority of voters wins the election.

Specifically, the LWVVT will support instant runoff voting (IRV) for all statewide elections.

LWV-VT Consensus Position on Vermont General Assembly (1975)

  1. Joint sponsorship of bills should be encouraged to stop the tremendous number of bills. The secrecy rule regarding bills in drafting and sponsorship should cease. Legislators should be informed of other similar legislation being drafted.
  2. To speed bills through committees, the committee chair and speaker or president pro-tem should work to speed up the process. The deadline for bills in committee should be flexible for complexity, but enforceable.
  3. A more democratic system for committee assignment is needed in the House. There should be at least a committee of three, as in the Senate.
  4. The Legislative Council research area should be expanded, if possible. Suggestions are to use student interns, law students, or LWV members.
  5. The present system of voting should be maintained with the possibility of installing electronic voting should funding be possible.
  6. Incentives from the private sector to serve in the General Assembly are frowned on. It is felt there would be strong conflicts of interest. People should be encouraged to run for office, however.

Vermont Constitution (1973; amended 2008)

Continued support of revision of the Vermont constitution to contain fundamental law only and to provide for:
  1. A permanent system of periodic, enforceable reapportionment of the General Assembly based substantially on population.
  2. Four-year terms for Governor and Lieutenant Governor. Continued support of a convention if needed for revision of the Vermont Constitution

LWV-VT Consensus Position on Legislative Redistricting (2008)

The emphasis on geographic representation in legislative bodies in the U.S. may be anachronistic. It is more important that voters be represented by elected officials who reflect their political views than happen to live nearby. Single-seat winner-take-all elections, regardless of the method of redistricting, elevate the representation of geography above political philosophy, and other priority voter self-identities.

It is impossible to redistrict single-seat districts in such a way as to promote BOTH competitive elections AND a highly representative delegation (as these two priorities are in inherent conflict in single-seat districts). Therefore:

The League of Women Voters of Vermont supports the principle of legislative districts using alternative voting methods, such as proportional representation in multi-seat districts, as a way of achieving both competitive elections and fair representation of both majorities and minorities within a district.