Vermont

Overview

Vermont Redistricting Process

Congressional

As of the 2010 U.S. Census, Vermont only has one at-large congressional district.

Legislative

Legislative maps are enacted by the State Legislature with the aid of a five- (or more) member advisory commission. The Governor can veto the plans.

The Legislature can override a veto with a two-thirds vote. Democrats currently have a veto-proof majority in the upper chamber. No party currently has a veto-proof majority in the lower chamber.

The Chief Justice of the State Supreme Court names a special master of the advisory commission who acts as the chair. The Governor appoints a resident of the state for five or more years from each political party with more than three members in the Legislature for at least six of the last ten years, and each of the aforementioned qualifying political parties also selects one five-or-more year resident to serve on the Commission. Commissioners cannot be members or employees of the Legislature. The secretary of state acts as the Board’s secretary but does not get a vote. All appointments must be made before July 1 of the year after the census.

By July 1 of the year after the census, the Vermont Legislative Apportionment Board puts together an initial proposition for redistricting the House. Before August 15, the Chair of the Board provides the proposition to the Clerk of the House. By July 1, the Board puts together an initial proposition for redistricting the Senate. A map is passed by majority vote. The Chair of the Board provides the proposition to the Clerk of the House. The General Assembly can either accept the proposal and enact it into law or substitute their own plan. If the General Assembly fails to redraw the legislative districts as required, the Supreme Court may order reapportionment in appropriate legal proceedings brought for that purpose.

Challenges to the maps are litigated in the State Supreme Court.

Source: Vt. Const. ch. 2, § 73. Vt. Stat. tit. 17, §§ 1904, 1905, 1906, 1907, 1909 (2020).


Previous Redistricting Cycles

2010

  • Congressional
    • N/A (At-large)
  • Legislative
    • Original PlanH. 789
      • Passed = April 30, 2012 (D-controlled)
      • Signed = May 1, 2012
    • Litigation History
      • None

2000

  • Congressional
    • N/A (At-large)
  • Legislative
    • Original PlanH. 761
      • Passed = June 13, 2002 (Split-control)
      • Signed = June 27, 2002
    • Litigation History
      • In re Reapportionment of Towns of Woodbury and Worcester, 2004 VT 92 (Vt. 2004): Citizens from two towns challenged the Legislature’s enacted state House plan as violating state constitutional and statutory redistricting criteria relating to compactness, contiguity, respect for municipal boundaries, protecting communities of interest, and population equality. On September 13, 2004, the Vermont Supreme Court rejected the plaintiffs’ challenges and upheld the plan.

Ballot Measure Process

Kinds of Ballot Measures
Only the Vermont Legislature may refer amendments to the ballot. There is no initiative or referendum process.

Source: Vt. Const. ch. 2, §72.


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