Election Day 2018: A Successful Showing For Statewide Incumbents In Vermont
Incumbents vying to retain statewide office in Vermont had a solid showing in 2018 midterm election.
Scroll below for the archive of our live updates and photos from Election Day 2018.
Update 11:51 p.m.
OK, there's still some races that haven't gotten the official call from The Associated Press, but we're going to close down the live blog. You can check for national and statewide result updates on this page, and you can look for updates on Vermont Senate and Vermont House results here.
We'll have some longer stories about some of the races online soon, and also tune into VPR tomorrow for even more analysis of the election results.
Update 11:24 p.m.
OK, now have some official calls on statewide races from The Associated Press:
- Phil Scott for governor
- TJ Donovan for attorney general
- Doug Hoffer for auditor
- Jim Condos for secretary of state
- Beth Pearce for treasurer
So a big night for Vermont incumbents. While the Associated Press still hasn't made an official call on the lieutenant governor's race — but again, we heard a concession speech from Don Turner a little while ago and the AP results as of now show David Zuckerman with a lead.
Update 11:02 p.m.
Lieutenant governor candidate Don Turner has conceded before those at the Republican Election Night event at the DoubleTree, while Progressive/Democrat incumbent Lt. Gov. David Zuckerman has addressed those gathered across town at the Democratic Election Night headquarters.
While a number of statewide races haven't been officially called, The Associated Press results as they stand now have the incumbents — Auditor Doug Hoffer, Treasurer Beth Pearce, Attorney General TJ Donovan and Secretary of State Jim Condos — are showing a healthy lead over their challengers at this hour.
Update 10:47 p.m.
Republican incumbent Gov. Phil Scott delivers a speech to the crowd gathered at the DoubleTree. During his remarks he congratulated everyone who was elected in Vermont this election. He also thanked Christine Hallquist, as well as laid out some of his plans for continuing his work as governor.
Update 10:24 p.m.
The Associated Press has not yet called the race for Vermont governor, though Democratic candidate Christine Hallquist took to the stage a few moments ago to thank her family, staff, volunteers and donors.
Update 9:51 p.m.
To follow up on the animal at the polls content from earlier, let's move into showcasing the animals at Election Night parties. This is a picture of a dog at the DoubleTree wearing a shirt supporting Phil Scott in his gubernatorial re-election bid.
Update 9:44 p.m.
According to VTDigger, Montpelier voters have approved a $10 million parking garage that would be situated behind the Capitol Plaza Hotel. Another ballot item that would allow non-citizen residents to vote in municipal elections also passed in Montpelier — but as VTDigger points out, this will ultimately need approval from the Legislature.
And in the Bennington 2-1 House district, The Associated Press has called that race for two Democrats: incumbent Rep. Timothy Corcoran and Chris Bates.
Republican Kevin Hoyt, who had been running for one of those two seats, made headlines during this campaign season for planning a raffle of semiautomatic rifles at a rally in August.
Update 9:21 p.m.
If you scroll back toward the beginning of this live blog (hours ago!), you'll recall that anecdotally we'd been hearing about there being strong voter turnout. Now the Vermont Secretary of State's Office has some (unofficial) numbers to go with that observation:
Update 9:07 p.m.
Another race to report: The Associated Press has called Vermont's U.S. House race for incumbent Democrat Rep. Peter Welch.
Welch had delivered remarks at the Vermont Democratic Party's event, prior to this call by The AP.
And Sen. Bernie Sanders just now finished speaking to the attendees gathered there at the Hilton.
Update 8:56 p.m.
Lawrence Zupan has now conceded. The candidate for U.S. Senate delivered a speech at the podium at the Republican event and said he spoke with Bernie Sanders — The Associated Press had called the U.S. Senate race for Sanders shortly after 7 p.m.
Update 8:35 p.m.
Sen. Patrick Leahy wasn't running in this election, but did deliver remarks at the Democratic Party's event in Burlington.
Update 8:26 p.m.
In the Washington-3 House district, The Associated Press has called the race for two Democratic candidates: incumbent Rep. Tommy Walz and also Peter Anthony. The means incumbent independent Rep. Paul Poirier will not be returning to the Legislature next session.
Update 8:08 p.m.
Lawrence Zupan, the Republican candidate for U.S. Senate, was talking with press at the Republican Party's event at the DoubleTree. The AP had called that race for Zupan's opponent, incumbent independent Sen. Bernie Sanders, shortly after 7 p.m., but Zupan said he's not conceding at this time.
Over at the Democratic headquarters, gubernatorial candidate Christine Hallquist gets in on a selfie snapped by Brenda Siegel. Hallquist defeated Siegel in the Democratic primary election back in August, but Siegel had said following those results that she would work to get Hallquist elected.
Update 7:48 p.m.
In Act 46 news, Barre Supervisory Union superintendent John Pandolfo confirmed to VPR that while a vote on a proposed merger passed in Barre City (1887 yes to 567 no), it was voted down Barre town (1262 yes to 2106 no).
The State Board of Education hadn't wanted to weigh in on a forced merger when a vote was pending, but with the proposed merger now defeated, the State Board will have to make a decision about the districts before a Nov. 30 deadline.
Update 7:31 p.m.
Our reporters have spotted Democratic gubernatorial candidate Christine Hallquist at the Democratic Party's event in Burlington.
Our reporters at the GOP event said they haven't yet spotted Republican incumbent Gov. Phil Scott, but that lieutnant governor candidate Don Turner is present.
Update 7:17 p.m.
In September, Kiah Morris stepped down as a state representative. Her former House district, Bennington 2-2, had two seats open and two candidates on the ballot — and so no big surprise that The Associated Press has now called the race for those candidates: incumbent Republican Rep. Mary Morrissey and Democrat Jim Carroll.
Update 7:07 p.m.
Andddddd we've got a result. The Associated Press has already called the U.S. Senate race for incumbent independent Sen. Bernie Sanders.
Update 7:03 p.m.
It's after 7 p.m. so polls are closed in Vermont — and VPR's live election night coverage has begun! Tune in to hear VPR's Bob Kinzel and Jane Lindholm.
Update 6:53 p.m.
Not only are we at the Republican and Democratic headquarters, but so are our fellow local media friends. VPR's Angela Evancie captured this image of the setup happening at the Hilton, where the Democrats' Election Night event is being held.
And over at the GOP's Election Night event at the DoubleTree, VPR's Amy Kolb Noyes noted that press are already in attendance — plus she snapped this picture of former Gov. Jim Douglas who has arrived there.
Update 6:38 p.m.
And across town we've got VPR reporters Amy Kolb Noyes and Henry Epp at the Republican Election Night headquarters to report on what's happening there, so also follow along at their respective handles (find those below!) and we'll try to post their updates here on the live blog, too!
Update 6:23 p.m.
VPR's Howard Weiss-Tisman reported on some Brattleboro businesses that were offering incentives at their establishments for people who voted today. Read that story here.
Update 6:00 p.m.
OK — just one hour until polls close at 7 p.m.! VPR reporters Liam Elder-Connors and Peter Hirschfeld have arrived at the Democratic Election Night headquarters in Burlington to report on what's going on there.
Follow them on Twitter for updates there (both their handles are in the tweets above!) — we'll also try to capture some of their reporting here on the blog during the evening:
.@VTdems Chairman @terjeanderson says @christineforvt Hallquist probably needs in the range of 125k-150k votes to win tonight.— Peter Hirschfeld (@PeteHirschfeld) November 6, 2018
Anderson says the question isn't whether that many Hallquist supporters are out there, but whether she and the Dems can get them to vote #vtpol
Update 5:18 p.m.
VPR's Nina Keck chatted with people from Chittenden, Rutland, Pittsford and Mendon on this Election Day. Take a quick listen to her compilation of some voter voices below:
Update 4:27 p.m.
We want to make sure you get the Vermont results tonight, but it's good to remember the work of our fellow public media organizations beyond our state borders. In the spirit of being regionally aware, we wanted to highlight this Twitter thread from New England News Collaborative executive editor John Dankosky, which provides insight into what some of our neighboring states are looking at this election.
(And a heads up that you can hear interviews with Dankosky on VPR during our 7 p.m. special election coverage tonight, and then also tomorrow during Vermont Edition.)
Happy Voting Day, New England! As the polls open up, you may have most of the info you need about the candidates you're voting for in your town or state, but what's happening right across the border matters, too. So, follow along for some handy voting guides from @NEXTNewEngland— John Dankosky (@johndankosky) November 6, 2018
And in case you are looking for New Hampshire updates in particular, you can find New Hampshire Public Radio's election live blog here.
Update 3:30 p.m.
In three and a half hours (aka at 7 p.m.) the polls will close in Vermont — so there's still time to vote if you haven't yet!
A reminder that once the polls close, the following pages will start updating with results:
And if in the meantime, you're looking to keep filling your afternoon with election-related content, let us recommend some listening: Today on Vermont Edition, the program aired an interview with Thomas Rymer, with the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe.
OSCE had sent election observers to the VPR - Vermont PBS Debate between U.S. Senate candidates Bernie Sanders and Lawrence Zupan last week. Learn more about OSCE's work in Vermont Edition's conversation with Rhymer below:
Update 2:22 p.m.
VPR's Amy Kolb Noyes stopped by the Hyde Park polls, where Democratic gubernatorial candidate Christine Hallquist had voted earlier in the day.
In Hyde Park #VT voters cast ballots in the basement of the town offices. Town Clerk Kim Moulton said this morning the small space could barely accommodate the dozen or more members off the press who followed gubernatorial candidate Christine Hallquist as she cast her ballot. pic.twitter.com/oLy4gvjSPe— Amy Kolb Noyes (@AmyKolbNoyes) November 6, 2018
Amy also made a stop at the Wolcott polls — and if these photos she snapped are any indication, the town had impressive animal turnout today.
Update 1:09 p.m. (Food Edition)
As it is around lunchtime, let's ponder: would it be an Election Day without a dessert spread?
CAKE, Part 1: Burlington
CAKE, Part 2: Mendon
COOKIES: Essex Junction
Update 12:44 p.m.
People are out casting ballots today, but there are also people out collecting signatures.
At Burlington's Ward 5, VPR's Emily Corwin spoke to Matthew Ennis of Winooski.
Ennis was getting signatures from voters to get the city of Burlington to replace its plan for City Hall Park, which he said he believes has too few trees and too much concrete — he needs 1,900 signatures for the issue to get on the ballot.
In Westminster volunteers are already gathering signatures for the next election. Supporters of the town newspaper want an increase in their annual budget. Check back with @vprnet in March to see how it turns out. #vtpoli #ElectionDay2018 pic.twitter.com/6tPqwGnSGk— Howard Weiss-Tisman (@hweisstisman) November 6, 2018
Update 12:09 p.m.
The past few weeks, we've of course shared our guide to the statewide candidates, but we've also talked about some local races we'll be keeping an eye on. Catch up on some of those:
- Addison County: Addison Independent reporter John Flowers gave us the overview of state Senate races there, where six candidates are vying for two seats (longtime Sen. Claire Ayer isn't seeking re-election), as well as a look at the House and sheriff races.
- Bennington County: Bennington Banner and VTDigger reporter Jim Therrien filled us in on the county sheriff race, as well as the House races — including the one that Kiah Morris vacated in September. The incumbent state's attorney is also facing a challenger, which Seven Days reporter Mark Davis talked with us about.
- Chittenden County: There are 13 candidates vying for six state Senate seats (the six incumbents are all seeking re-election). In Burlington specifically, two bond items are on the ballot.
- Grand Isle County: In the Grand Isle - Chittenden district (which includes a sliver of Milton), Democratic House Speaker Mitzi Johnson is seeking re-election, but she has Republican challengers (an uncle-nephew duo) looking to unseat her and her fellow Democratic incumbent.
- Orleans County: Orleans County Record and Caledonian Record reporter Robin Smith filled us in on the state's attorney, sheriff and state Senate and House races. Plus, there's an Act 46 vote taking place in seven school districts this election, Smith explained.
- Rutland County: Republicans have held the three Senate seats since 2014 — this year there are two open seats.
Update 11:30 a.m.
So what's been going on so far this morning? VPR reporters checked in at a few polling places:
Burlington — A poll worker told VPR's Henry Epp, who was at Burlington's Ward 5 polling place, that turnout was "wild."
Middlebury — VPR's Melody Bodette noted that an extra line was set up to check in Middlebury voters.
Monkton — VPR's Jane Lindholm stopped by Monkton polling place (the town's fire station/post office).
Less than 1.5hrs into voting and Monkton town clerk Sharon Gomez says it’s the busiest she’s ever seen. As of 8:24am, 202 of the town’s 1623 registered voters had been counted (including some of the 216 absentee ballots that were mailed out in advance). #vtpoli #2018Elections pic.twitter.com/eixrluxqmN— Jane Lindholm (@JaneLindholm) November 6, 2018
Norwich — Per VPR's Angela Evancie, who is in Norwich, apparently there are no "I Voted" stickers for voters!
Pittsford — VPR's Nina Keck spoke to Helen McKinlay, the Pittsford town clerk and treasurer, who said she expects that Pittsford will have a record voter turnout.
Winooski — City Clerk Carol Barrett told VPR's Matthew Smith that in 2014, there 192 absentee/early votes cast. And this year? She said there were 584 early votes in Winooski.
And statewide, according to the Vermont Secretary of State's Office, around 69,000 Vermonters voted early this year:
Correction 12:09 p.m. We previously said "more than 69,000." As that tweet shows, it is just under 69,000.
Update 10:44 a.m.
Welcome to our live blog! We'll update this throughout the day, with things really ramping up in the afternoon and evening. Follow VPR on Twitter for additional updates, plus updates from our reporters in the field.
We'll be live on the air at 7 p.m. with local election coverage, hosted by VPR's Bob Kinzel and Jane Lindholm. Then starting at 8 p.m. we'll carry NPR's national coverage of the election (but we'll still be popping in with local updates throughout the evening!).
So hang out with VPR on Election Night as we keep you up to date on results as they come in, plus share dispatches from our reporters around the state — including at the Democratic and Republican Election Night headquarters.
A reminder that polls don't close until 7 p.m. so there's still time to vote (and there's still time to register to vote, because Vermont has same-day voter registration!). Find your polling place on the Vermont Secretary of State's website.
And there's even still time to peruse our Time To Vote quick-read voter guide before casting your ballot.