Students weigh in on Vermont midterm election

Zoe Schemm, Staff Writer

Through many initiatives and organizing, UVM students were motivated to vote in the elections Nov. 6.

Many considered the midterms to be especially important because the outcomes determined the remainder of President Donald Trump’s term.

“My estimation is that over 2,000 UVM students voted in Burlington yesterday,” College Democrats President Sam Donnelly, a junior, said the day after the elections.

He helped create a Facebook page for the UVM Walkout to Vote event, hosted by Vermont Public Interest Research Group and the organizers of the Women’s March.

Donnelly said although the event was lightly attended, the number of students who voted was incredibly high.

“Polls saw record student turnout — lines of 50 plus people for most of the day,” Donnelly said. “The Winooski polling place ran out of ballots several times.”

Although Donnelly was glad about the number of students that voted, he was less excited about the results of the election.

“I would have liked to have seen Christine Halquist win against Phil Scott,” he said. “Our state really needs to change and become a little bit more progressive if we’re gonna retain young people and do things like raise the minimum wage.”

Other students were happier about the results.

College Republicans President Tommy Switzgable, a senior, found the results of the race unsurprising.

“I wasn’t worried about [Gov. Phil Scott],” he said. “I helped to work on the campaign a bit and he seemed like he had everything together. He was hitting all the constituents.”

The midterms saw wins for Republican incumbent Phil Scott as governor and Sen. Bernie Sanders and Rep. Peter Welch.

Christine Hallquist, the Democratic nominee for governor, was defeated by a margin of 15 points, according to the Associated Press.

The poll showed  23 Democratic wins for seats in the Vermont State House and Senate compared to nine Republican wins and three Independent wins.

“I think the race for governor was really interesting, because many people that go to UVM think Vermont is Burlington, but it really isn’t,” Vermont native senior Mac Rogers said. “Vermont voted like Vermont, and that’s not a bad thing.”

Other state positions were also filled by Democrats, including Jim Condos as Secretary of State, Doug Heffer as Auditor and Beth Pearce as Treasurer. Incumbent Lt. Gov. David Zuckerman managed to win a seat for the Independent party.