Modifies Procedures Based on the Health and Safety of Voters and Poll Workers
MONTPELIER – Vermont Secretary of State Jim Condos announced on July 20 his issuance of a directive pursuant to Act 92 and Act 135 of 2020, which puts in place several temporary procedures to ensure Vermonters can vote safely and confidently in the 2020 elections, including mailing every active registered voter a ballot for the November General Election.
“Voting by mail is simple, safe, and secure,” said Secretary Condos, who is the state’s chief election official. “Planning for the 2020 elections, as we collectively respond to the COVID-19 health crisis, has meant accepting that for some of us, the elections process may look or feel a little different this year.”
The directive addresses several election administration concerns, including ballot return, ballot processing, options for outdoor and drive through polling places, and mailed ballots for the election in November.
Under the secretary’s 2020 Statewide Elections Directive, ballots will be mailed to every active registered voter for the 2020 General Election. Active registered voters are those voters who have not been issued a challenge by the local Boards of Civil Authority, who are responsible for local voter registration list maintenance under the supervision of the town or city clerks. Other provisions in the directive include limits on candidate return of ballots, and the allowance of early processing of ballots by the clerks.
Tens of thousands of Vermonters vote by mail in every election cycle; voting by mail is not a new concept in the state or nationally. Five states have implemented universal vote by mail for years, without issue, and United States military service members have been voting by mail since the Civil War.
“Your vote is your voice,” said Secretary Condos. “I will do everything possible to ensure that all Vermont voters have as many choices as possible to have that voice heard in our democratic process, in a way that the voter decides is safest for their own health.”