BRATTLEBORO—Beautiful weather on Tuesday and a record number of registered voters combined to make the 2016 election one for the record books in Vermont.
As of Tuesday afternoon, Secretary of State Jim Condos said that 470,799 Vermonters were registered to vote, which Condos said is an all-time high.
The previous Vermont record was about 454,000 in 2008. That year’s election saw a 71.9 percent turnout, also a record.
This year, Brattleboro reported a 69 percent turnout, or 6,005 of 8,701 registered voters.
Early voting was a huge factor in the election. According to Condos, 100,209 absentee ballots were requested and, as of Tuesday morning, 91,593 were returned.
The record for early voting was 94,600 ballots in 2008, and Condos said that this year may top that mark.
Little suspense, except for two races
Vermont’s decision in the presidential race was called for Democrat Hillary Clinton within moments of the polls closing in Vermont at 7 p.m.
For the statewide races in Vermont, all but the governor and lieutenant governor races were also called early, with a split decision for Republicans.
With 89 percent of the vote reported as of 11:30 p.m. Tuesday, Republican Lt. Gov. Phil Scott had a 151,297 to 125,498 lead over Democrat Sue Minter in the race to replace Gov. Peter Shumlin.
Minter conceded the race shortly after 11 p.m., but news organizations did not officially declare a winner until about 11:45 p.m.
Democrat David Zuckerman won a narrow victory in the lieutenant governor’s race, with 143,662 votes to Republican Randy Brock’s 125,793 and Liberty Union candidate Boots Wardinski’s 6,182.
Democrat T.J. Donovan won the attorney general’s race over Republican Deb Bucknam and Liberty Union’s Rosemarie Jackowski.
Incumbent Democrat Patrick Leahy won his eighth term as he easily defeated his four challengers for U.S. Senate: Republican Scott Milne, Liberty Union’s Peter Diamondstone, and independents Cris Ericson and Jerry Trudell.
Leahy, who has been in the Senate since 1975, is that legislative body’s current longest serving member.
Democrat Peter Welch also had no problem winning re-election to his sixth term in the U.S. House over Liberty Union candidate Erica Clawson. The Republicans didn’t run a candidate against Welch, who has served in the house since 2007.
Also winning re-election were Secretary of State Jim Condos, Auditor Doug Hoffer, and Treasurer Beth Pierce.
The final certified election results will be announced by the Secretary of State’s Office on Nov. 15 at 10 a.m.