Results in from Doyle Poll - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Results in from Doyle Poll

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After voting by voice or ballot on Town Meeting Day, Sen. Bill Doyle (R-Washington County) asks Vermonters to fill out his survey. For the last 44 years, he's asked them 13-14 questions about the most debated topics at the Statehouse.

"There have been times when I wish I had one more week to ask that question, but I think I'm happy with the way the questions came out this year," Sen. Doyle said.

This year, more than 13,000 responded. They strongly favored banning cellphone use while driving, increasing the minimum wage, alternative justice for non-violent offenders, and labeling genetically engineered foods.

According to the poll, 89 percent say cell service and broadband are important to the economy, just as many are concerned with the increasing use of opiates. "Very seldom do you get an 89 on any question," Doyle said.

Marijuana legalization divided Vermonters, as did the direction of health reform. Many say they're unsure about natural gas, ridge-top wind or forming a state bank. "There's hardly a question on there I'm not particularly interested in," Doyle said.

Lawmakers say the survey allows them to hear from regular voters as opposed to the vocal insiders at the Statehouse every day.

Rep. Ann Manwaring (D-Wilmington) says under the right circumstances the survey even has the potential to change her perspective or vote. "It's a long standing tradition. I really admire Sen. Doyle for continuing this and I hope we're doing it for a lot more years," she said.

Reporter Kyle Midura: You've been doing this 44 years, do you have another 44 in you?

Sen. Bill Doyle: Sure, why don't you triple it.

Survey takers say education costs are unsustainable and the national government collects too much data on citizens, but the result most likely to ring through the corridors of the Statehouse -- only 26 percent believe Vermont is an affordable place to live.

That leaves Sen. Doyle with even more questions. "What can we do to attract people to come to our state, what can we do in our educational systems to make sure our graduates can get jobs," Doyle said.

For the full results of the Town Meeting Day Survey click here.

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