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Voting Rules & Information

Deadlines

 All early voter absentee ballot requests must be submitted by 5 p.m. or by the close of the town clerk’s office on the day before the election.

All ballots must be returned to the town clerk’s office before the close of the office on the day before the election, or to the polling place before 7 p.m. on the day of the election, in order to be counted.

 In-home Ballot Delivery

If you are sick or have a disability, a ballot can be delivered to your home on Election Day. You may request an absentee ballot up until 5 p.m. on the day before the election. Two justices of the peace (of different parties when possible) will deliver a ballot to you, and then will bring the ballot back to the polling place so that it can be placed in the ballot box and counted.

 Additional Application Info

 An early or absentee voter, or an authorized family member or health care provider acting in the voter’s behalf, may apply for an early voter absentee ballot by telephone, in person, or in writing. “Family member” means a person’s spouse, children, brothers, sisters, parents, spouse’s parents, grandparents, and spouse’s grandparents.

Any other authorized person may apply in writing or in person; provided, however, that voter authorization to such a person shall not be given by response to a robotic phone call. An authorized person must identify the organization they work with, if applicable.

An early or absentee voter may also apply for their ballot online at their My Voter Page.

Absentee ballots for the August 13, 2024, statewide primary will be available not later than June 29, 2024. Absentee ballots for the November 5, 2024, general election will be automatically mailed to all active registered voters, not later than October 1, 2024. Ballots for local elections—town meeting elections by Australian ballot—are available 20 days prior to the election. You can, however, request ballots at any point during the year leading up to the election. We strongly recommend that military or overseas voters request an early or absentee ballot at least 45 days prior to the election.

Requests for an early voter absentee ballot can be made at any time until 5 p.m., or by the time of closing of the town clerk’s office on the last day that the clerk has regular hours before the election. The request can be made at the same time the person registers to vote.

A single request may be made for absentee ballots for town meeting, and the primary and general elections, if the “mail to” address is the same for all three elections. Please note that a request must be made every election year.

The Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) from the Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP) will be considered a request for ballots for both the primary and general elections.

 Military and Overseas Voter Absentee Ballot Requests

To register to vote and request an absentee ballot, visit the My Voter Page.

Military or overseas voters may also request an absentee ballot by telephone, fax, email, or by mail. You may also request that the unvoted ballot and certificate for the return envelope be sent to you by email, fax, or mail. If you have the ballot and certificate sent by email or fax, the clerk will include instructions for you. However, under Vermont law, voted ballots must be returned to the town clerk inside the absentee certificate envelope (with the voter’s original signature). Voted ballots may not be returned by fax or email.

For more voting information for military and/or overseas voters, please visit the Federal Voting Assistance Program.

 Responding to Early Voter Absentee Ballot Requests

The town clerk must mail a complete set of early voter absentee ballots to voters who have requested ballots. The ballots must be mailed “forthwith” (as soon as possible) after an application for a ballot has been filed with the clerk and the clerk has received the ballots from the printer. Early voter absentee ballots that are sent to voters who are outside of the country must be sent airmail, first class, postpaid, when such service is available. Ballots sent to voters outside of the country may also be sent by email when requested.

When a voter goes to the town clerk’s office to vote early, the voter is given the absentee ballots and envelopes and is provided a private place to mark the ballots. The voter must then seal the ballots in the envelope, sign the certificate, and return the ballots in the sealed envelope to the town clerk or an assistant town clerk. A voter may also take the ballots and return them to the town clerk before the end of Election Day. No person, except justices of the peace, may take any ballot from the town clerk on behalf of any other person.

 How to Vote an Early Absentee Ballot

The following are the directions a voter will receive with an early voter absentee ballot for the general election.

Note: In the case of early or absentee voting in a primary, the envelope instructions will also include appropriate instructions for separating the ballots and depositing the unvoted ballot(s) in a separate envelope provided and clearly marked “Unused Ballots.”

Marking Ballots

Voters must mark the ballots in accordance with the instructions.

A voter who is ill or has a disability may ask one of the officers who delivers the ballots, in the presence of the other officer, to mark the ballot for him or her. A person who gives assistance to a voter in the marking or registering of ballots may not in any way divulge any information regarding the choice of the voter or the manner in which the voter’s ballot was cast.

A voter who spoils a ballot may return the spoiled ballot by mail or in person to the town clerk and receive another ballot. A voter may receive up to three ballots. A person can spoil two ballots and still vote.

Signing Certificate

The voter must sign the certificate on the outside of the envelope for the ballot to be valid.

A voter who is physically unable to sign his or her name may mark an “X” swearing to the statement on the certificate. The officers who deliver the ballots shall witness the mark and sign their names with a statement attesting to this fact on the envelope.

Return of Ballots

Early or absentee voter ballots must be returned to the town clerk’s office before the close of business on the day before the election (be sure to check your town clerk’s hours) or to the polling place by 7 p.m. on Election Day. The ballots may be returned by mail or in person, unless the ballots were delivered by justices of the peace who would then return them to the town clerk.

The town clerk must record receipt of the voted ballot(s) on the list of early or absentee voters.

Once an early voter absentee ballot has been returned to the clerk in the sealed envelope with the signed certificate, it shall be stored in a secure place and shall not be returned to the voter for any reason.

During the hours that the polls are open, the town clerk delivers the envelopes to the presiding officer in the polling place where the early or absentee voter would have voted if he had voted in person.

On Election Day, election officials examine the checklist to see whether the voter has already voted in person. The election officials also check the certificate on the envelope containing the ballots to make sure it is properly filled out. When the election officials are satisfied that the early or absentee voter is legally qualified to vote, has not already voted in person and that the certificate is properly filled out, they open the envelope containing the ballot(s). Without unfolding the ballots or permitting the ballot to be seen, the election officials mark the entrance checklist indicating the fact that that voter has voted by means of an early voter absentee ballot, and then they deposit the ballots in the ballot boxes or voting machine. Early voter absentee ballots are commingled with the ballots of voters who have voted in person.

Defective Ballots

When an early or absentee voter is not legally qualified to vote, or has voted in person, or if the certificate on the voted ballot envelope is not signed, or the voted ballot is not in the voted ballot envelope, or, in the case of a primary vote, the early or absentee voter has failed to return the unvoted primary ballots, the envelope must be marked “defective”. The voter will be notified that the return of their ballot was defective, within three days of the clerk receiving it, and the voter will have an opportunity to correct the error and have their ballot counted.