Viv Woodland

Voter oath puts Vermont into a league of its own

The Vermont Voter's Oath fascinates me. Our state is one of only three in the nation, along with Alabama and Florida, that has voters take an oath at the time of registration, and our oath is unique:

“You solemnly swear (or affirm) that whenever you give your vote or suffrage, touching any matter that concerns the State of Vermont, you will do it so as in your conscience you shall judge will most conduce to the best good of the same, as established by the Constitution, without fear or favor of any person.” –Vermont Constitution, Chapter II, Section 42

Although I am not in the business of interpreting the law, to my understanding, this statement has two parts.

The final phrase, often highlighted, that a voter will not sell their vote or otherwise allow someone to coerce them into voting a particular way. And that is important.

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Help protect delivery workers

Many people are now finding themselves at home more often during the day, and are more likely to witness the delivery of mail and parcels to their residence. There are several things to keep in mind during this time to protect those who are providing you with delivery services:

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Postal food drive: a huge success

The Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive was a huge success this year in Brattleboro, Guilford, Vernon, Dummerston, Putney, and beyond. Postal customers donated over 8,000 pounds of food in our region, a 70-percent increase over last year! Members of the National Association of Letter Carriers hold this national drive...

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What about relationship between lax gun laws and opioid crisis?

Thank you, The Commons, for providing such a vibrant forum of ideas and opinions in your Voices section. I really appreciated this piece. Although I'm not yet entirely in agreement with the writer David Van Deusen, he certainly provided clear reasoning behind his opinion and led me to hesitate in my full support of gun-control legislation. The article has sparked much contemplation for me personally and led to some thoughtful dialogue with others. No political topic stands alone, however, and...

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I will not be invisible. You do not have to be invisible.

An Israeli housemate once told me, “I do not call myself Jewish because I am religious; I call myself Jewish to honor the generations before me who were killed because of that identity.” I was reminded of this perspective recently as I made the decision to purchase a bisexual pride flag to hang on my house during the month of June. Pride season is here once again, but instead of eagerly looking ahead to events, gatherings, or celebrations I might...

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May our fears serve as catalysts for change

Eight years ago, I stood on the National Mall, wrapped in the arms of my biracial same-sex lover, to experience the Inauguration ceremony of Barack Obama, a man whose campaign slogan had been, simply, “Hope.” And, indeed, we were full of hope on that day, in that season. When the program ended, we made our way to the far end of the Reflecting Pool and up into the Lincoln Memorial to read the full text of Abraham Lincoln's second inaugural...

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