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New poll on Town Meeting Day - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

New poll on Town Meeting Day

Sen. Bill Doyle Sen. Bill Doyle
Rep. Sam Young Rep. Sam Young

Montpelier, Vermont - February 28, 2011

On the eve of Town Meeting Day, Senator Bill Doyle is burning the midnight oil.

"There's not a legislator I know that doesn't want to know how the people back home feel about the issues," he said.

That's why for more than four decades he's been conducting his Town Meeting Day survey. It has been used for years to predict how Vermonters will vote on hot topics affecting the state. This year questions about Vermont Yankee's future, mandatory sentences for repeat drunk drivers, physician assisted suicide and law enforcement's use of tasers all made the ballot.

But this year another lawmaker at the Statehouse is putting a high-tech twist on a Town Meeting Day tradition.

"The Doyle survey is the gold standard in town meeting surveys," said Rep. Sam Young, D-Orleans/Caledonia counties.

Last week Young decided to bring that gold standard into the 21st century. He has created a similar online survey for Vermont's cities and towns.

"I'd love to reach every Vermonter who has a computer," he said.

But he says he'd settle for 20,000 responses. According to Young, his survey is not intended to replace the Doyle poll but to reach out more voters. And his predecessor is praising his initiative.

"Anyone who has a good idea like Sam's, we should encourage it. We're not in competition. I think the state of Vermont would benefit from having both sources of information," said Sen. Bill Doyle, R-Washington County, "Since the questions are different the results will be different. The news will be different and more Vermonters will have more information."

And more information is the name of the game especially in politics. Senator Doyle says they'll always be something special about the paper ballot but understands the need to transition to the instantaneous world of the web.

"People like to hold the paper in their hands and some people like to look it over," he said, "I think there's a place for both and I think there's a great future for a paperless society."

The lawmakers are encouraging voters to take both surveys. 60,000 of Doyle's paper ballots will be distributed during Tuesday's Town Meeting Day and Representative Young's online version can be found on his website: repsamyoung.com.

Click here to see the survey from Sen. Bill Doyle that voters will see at the polls.

Jennifer Reading -- WCAX News

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