If you don’t receive it by Oct. 10, call your town clerk
By Juliet Schulman-Hall/VTDigger
Roughly 440,000 mail-in ballots are being sent to voters, according to Vermont Secretary of State Jim Condos. The mailing began the last week of September and will continue this week.
Voters should expect to receive their ballots for the Nov. 8 general election no later than Oct. 10, Condos said. If voters don’t receive their ballots, they should contact their town or city clerk.
Mail-in ballots provide an “additional option” for voting which has “been used successfully in states around the country — red and blue states,” Condos said.
All active registered voters will automatically receive a ballot by mail for this year’s general election.
Vermont has about 500,000 registered voters, including 440,000 “active” registered voters, according to Condos. Inactive voters have been challenged by a municipality’s Board of Civil Authority, according to state statute.
Condos said that he doesn’t expect any delays in sending mail-in ballots because staff at the United States Postal Service have assured him that election mail will be treated as high priority.
“Your vote is your voice, and it’s important that everybody has an opportunity to cast the ballot. It’s your constitutional right. And we anticipate that we will have a strong election in November,” Condos said.
This is the first election in which universal mail-in voting is a permanent feature of Vermont voting.
The practice of sending mail-in ballots to all active registered voters was first allowed in Vermont in 2020 to help reduce the spread of Covid-19. Gov. Phil Scott subsequently signed a universal mail-in voting law for general elections, Act 60, in June 2021.
Due to the new mail-in voting law, Vermont is now ranked as the third easiest place to vote in the country, according to the 2022 edition of the Cost of Voting Index, compiled by a trio of researchers for the Election Law Journal. In 2020, Vermont ranked 23rd.
Residents who have not yet registered to vote can still do so and expect to receive a mailed ballot.
“If they (voters) get down to the last 10 days before the election, you should probably make arrangements to go into your town clerk’s office to get a ballot, if you want an early vote, or show up at the polls on Election Day,” Condos said.
Vermont has same-day voter registration.