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Vermont ready to send women to Congress for the first time

Tuesday Becca Balint won the Democratic primary for Vermont's only legislativeseat. This means that for the first time states can elect women to represent them in Congress. 

Two years ago Vermont became the only state in the United States  not yet to have women in Congress. Senator Cindy Hyde Smith of Mississippi was elected in 2020 after being appointed to finish off Senator Thad Cochrane two years ago.

"This truly is like the culmination of her lifelong dream of being an openly gay woman in the civil service," Balint told CBS of her told the news. 

If Balint is elected, she will go down in history as the first woman sent to Congress from Vermont. Not only that, she would be the first person to come out as gay. Member representing the country.

She had two women running for the Republican Party, meaning that if one of them won, the state would be guaranteed to send a woman to Congress for the first time. Liam Madden won Tuesday's Republican primary. 

Election 2022 House
Vermont Senator Becca Balint is the Democratic nominee to run for Vermont's vacant U.S. House seat and is telling voters. Colchester, Virginia, July 24, 2022. Wilson Ring/AP

Madden won the Republican primary with her 37% of the vote, defeating two. Women are Erica Reddick at 27% of hers and Anya Tinio at 23% of hers. He initially said he would not accept the Republican nomination if he won the primary, but on Wednesday he said he would accept the nomination because it would eventually allow two people to vote. 

For Meg Smith, director of the nonprofit Vermont Women's Fund, the time has come for the state to send women to Congress.

"I can say that it's actually quite embarrassing that there weren't any women sent to Congress from Vermont," Smith told her CBS News. 

The Vermont Women's Fund is a nonpartisan organization focused on raising funds through philanthropy and distributing them as grants to nonprofit organizations throughout the state that support the development of women and girls. is. 

"It is important that Vermont women are at the table and in the chamber when we think about the debates taking place in Congress that really impact the lives of women in Vermont. American Women's Politics." According to Kelly Dittmer, the center's director of research, 

Balint recognizes the importance of being in the room where everything happens. 

 

45} “I think politics is best done when the whole community, or all of us, feel represented. Because it can make a difference in the room, we raise questions that are important to us,” says Balint. 

Electing women to represent Vermont in Congress is even more important to residents as a constitutional amendment to protect abortion rights will also be put to vote this November. has a meaning. 

For the past four years, the state has debated whether to add a constitutional amendment to protect abortion rights. 

Earlier this year, the State Legislature approved the Reproductive Freedom Amendment, formerly known as Proposition 5. 

Autonomy is central to the freedom and dignity to determine the course of one's own life, unless justified by coercive national interests achieved by the least restrictive means. 

"The shortage of women legislators in Vermont is a sign that efforts to achieve gender equality in elected legislatures are still ongoing throughout the country." It shows that there is a lot of work to be done," Dittmer told CBS News. 

Dittmar argues that the combination of a small congressional delegation (only one seat) and the fact that men have held the seat over the years have contributed He said it affected representatives. 

"The lack of term limits at parliamentary level certainly weakens the opportunities for political newcomers," Dittmer said. 

“Historically, women rarely held this seat, yet in 2022 there will still be one state that has never had a woman in Congress. Dittmar added,

49 states sent at least one woman to Congress, but there are currently 10 states where women do not represent voters. 

"When we talk about why representation matters, it is about the fairness and legitimacy of a democracy. If a representative democracy is intended, it serves We need to represent our constituencies as much as possible, said Dittmar. 

The milestone Vermont may see in November is the one that resonates nationally with its residents.

"I hope that people across the country will watch and listen... This is all of us, and it will help create positive change." We do,” Smith added. 

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