This turbulent election season is now over, at least for Vermont. It’s a good time to peruse a menu of election law reforms that the next legislature should seriously consider.

We should universally require that registering to vote be a solemn civic act. Every new voter should appear before a clerk or justice and take the Freeman’s Oath, promising to act as a citizen “to conduce to the best good of the [State of Vermont], as established by the Constitution, without fear or favor of any person.” Repeal the repugnant Motor Voter law, where a driver casually checks a box on a form to become a voter.

Only registered voters should be eligible to run for election to an office. No showboating 15-year-olds, green card foreigners, or persons illegally in our country.

Every registered voter should be free to join any political party, hold party offices, and vote to nominate its candidates. Those who don’t care to belong to a party – independents - can work for candidates and vote in general elections, but they have no business barging into a party’s primary to influence its policies and nominees when they don’t choose to actually belong.

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