Petitions for Voter-Backed Articles


If you or a group of citizens want to have a particular issue voted on at your annual town meeting or a special meeting, you can ask the legislative body (selectboard or school board) to place the article on the warning on the board’s own motion. If the board decides not to add the suggested article to the warning, you can circulate a petition and submit it to the legislative body to force the board to include certain types of articles on the warning. 


Petitions for Annual Meeting

The petition must contain signatures of five percent of the voters requesting placement of articles on the warning for annual meeting and must be received by the selectboard or the school board at least 47 days prior to town meeting. 17 V.S.A. §2642(a)(3)(A).

The deadline for submitting petitions to the Morristown Town Clerk's Office for the 2024 Annual Town Meeting is 4:00 PM on Thursday, January 18, 2024

5% of the Morristown voter checklist is approximately 210 signatures.  Please check with the shaskins [at] (Town Clerk) (802) 888-6370 for the exact number as the amount fluctuates. 

Social Services Appropriations

The Morristown Selectboard has adopted a Social Service Agency Appropriation Policy.  Those social service agencies that have not had an appropriation request approved at the most recent annual town meeting, or that are requesting a larger appropriation than that approved at the most recent annual town meeting, must submit a petition for an article requesting an appropriation in accordance with 17 V.S.A. § 2642. Those social service agencies that have had an appropriation request approved at the most recent annual town meeting are not required to submit a petition if the amount requested is the same or less than the amount approved by the voters in the previous year. In such case, the agency shall complete and submit the Town of Morristown Social Service Agency Appropriation application on or before December 1st of each year.   Please contact the admin [at] (Town Administration) Office for more information (802) 888-5147.

Petitions for Special Meetings
  • Petitions for special meetings may be turned into the town clerk at anytime and must contain signatures of five percent of the voters. 17 V.S.A. §2643(a)
  • Once found to conform, a special meeting shall be warned within 60 days of the receipt of the petition by the clerk. 17 V.S.A. §2643(a)


Rules for All Petitions

Binding Articles:

  • All articles involving issues that Vermont law states the voters or electorate are capable of deciding and binding the town, must be placed on the warning by the selectboard. Examples of binding articles include increasing the size of the selectboard or school board, establishing special reserve funds, funding approval for particular equipment or improvements. All of these categories of articles are specifically mentioned in the Vermont Statutes as being for the electorate or voters to decide by vote.
  • Please note that petitions to place an article for a bonding proposal on the warning for town meeting requires signatures of ten percent of the legal voters, not the usual five percent for a petition. 24 V.S.A. §1755(a). The bonding statute also provides very specific information including the object and purpose of the indebtedness, the estimated cost of the improvements, the amount of bonds to be issued, and the specific form of the question in the article. 24 V.S.A. §1755 and 1758.
  • Sample petition to request a binding article for an annual or special meeting

Non-Binding Articles (Revised 1/24/2007):

Frivolous or Illegal Articles:

Any proposed articles that involve action that is specifically delegated in the Vermont Statutes to the legislative body, (i.e. selectboard or school board) or to any other town board or official should be rejected by the legislative body and not placed on the warning. The chair should explain to the petitioners that state law gives the particular duty or responsibility for taking action to a specific individual or board and that the town voters cannot change that statutory mandate. Examples of illegal articles include an article to direct the selectboard to fire the zoning administrator (statute reserves this power to the selectboard), or an article to approve a local ordinance (statute reserves promulgation of ordinances to the selectboard, electorate can only petition to disapprove an ordinance within 60 days of its adoption.)


Requests for Reconsideration of an Article
  • Whether an article is voted on the floor or by Australian ballot, any voter who does not like the outcome of the vote on an article may file a petition containing signatures of five percent of the legal voters of the town with the legislative body within 30 days of the vote, asking for reconsideration of the article at a special town meeting. 17 V.S.A. § 2661. The selectboard or school board must set a special meeting to reconsider the article within 60 days of receiving the petition.
  • Voters can only force the reconsideration of an article by petition once within a period of one year from the first vote. However, the legislative body (selectboard or school board) can call a special meeting to reconsider any article except bonding proposals as many times as the board desires. Bond proposal articles can only be submitted to the voters twice within 12 months.
  • Sample language for petition for reconsideration