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The Vermont Statutes Online

Title 17: Elections

Chapter 043: QUALIFICATION AND REGISTRATION OF VOTERS

  • Subchapter 001: QUALIFICATIONS OF VOTERS
  • § 2121. Eligibility of voters

    (a) Any person may register to vote in the town of his or her residence in any election held in a political subdivision of this state in which he or she resides who, on election day:

    (1) is a citizen of the United States;

    (2) is a resident of the state of Vermont;

    (3) has taken the voter's oath; and

    (4) is 18 years of age or more.

    (b) Any person meeting the requirements of subdivisions (a)(1)-(3) of this section who will be 18 years of age on or before the date of a general election may register and vote in the primary election immediately preceding that general election. (Added 1977, No. 269 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; amended 1997, No. 47, § 11; 2011, No. 66, § 15, eff. June 1, 2011.)

  • § 2122. Residence; special cases; checklist

    (a) A person shall not gain or lose a residence solely by reason of presence or absence while in the service of the state or of the United States; nor while engaged in the navigation of the waters of the state or of the United States or on the high seas; nor while in a hospital, nursing home, or other health care facility; nor while confined in a prison or correctional institution; nor while a member of a veterans' home; nor while a student at any educational institution; nor while living outside the United States; nor while certified as a participant in the address confidentiality program under 15 V.S.A. chapter 21, subchapter 3.

    (b) A person may have his or her name on the checklist only in the town of which the person is a resident. For the purpose of this chapter, "resident" shall mean a person who is domiciled in the town as evidenced by an intent to maintain a principal dwelling place in the town indefinitely and to return there if temporarily absent, coupled with an act or acts consistent with that intent. If a person removes to another town with the intention of remaining there indefinitely, that person shall be considered to have lost residence in the town in which the person originally resided even though the person intends to return at some future time. However, a person shall retain the ability to vote in a town of former residence for a period of 17 days after becoming a resident of a new town. A person may have only one residence at a given time. (Added 1977, No. 269 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; amended 1979, No. 200 (Adj. Sess.), § 120; 1981, No. 239 (Adj. Sess.), § 8; 1983, No. 90, § 4, eff. April 29, 1983; 1985, No. 198 (Adj. Sess.), § 6; 1999, No. 134 (Adj. Sess.), § 6, eff. Jan. 1, 2001; 2001, No. 5, § 2.)

  • § 2123. Residents of unorganized towns and gores

    A resident of an unorganized town, grant, or gore may have his or her name placed upon the checklist in any town which is both in the probate district and in the representative district in which he or she resides, and he or she shall be entitled to vote in all elections in such town except local elections. (Added 1977, No. 269 (Adj. Sess.), § 1.)

  • § 2124. Voter's oath or affirmation; how administered; application

    (a) The voter's oath may be administered by:

    (1) a person authorized by the law of this State to administer oaths and affirmations;

    (2) a member of a board of civil authority;

    (3) a commissioned officer of the military service;

    (4) any other person qualified to administer oaths and affirmations, within or outside the United States, by the laws of the place in which the oath or affirmation is administered;

    (5) any other person over the age of 18; or

    (6) an applicant for addition to the checklist who attests to having taken the oath or affirmation under the penalty of perjury.

    (b) [Repealed.]

    (c) At a minimum, the town clerk shall keep the completed applications for addition to the checklist, or an electronic copy thereof, through the end of the general election cycle that follows the one in which the application was received. The town clerk shall verify, upon request, that a voter has been given the oath or affirmation. (Added 1977, No. 269 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; amended 1979, No. 200 (Adj. Sess.), § 7; 1989, No. 200 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; 1997, No. 47, § 10; 2001, No. 6, § 12(b), eff. April 10, 2001; 2007, No. 113 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; 2015, No. 30, § 1, eff. May 26, 2015; 2015, No. 80 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. July 1, 2017.)

  • § 2125. Intermittent residence

    A person, having taken the voter's oath, who moves from Vermont and obtains voting residence outside the state shall not vote in any election in this state until he or she has once again qualified to vote under this title, except that he or she need not take the voters' oath again. (Added 1977, No. 269 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; amended 1979, No. 200 (Adj. Sess.), § 8; 1997, No. 47, § 11.)

  • § 2126. Village checklist

    A village clerk shall automatically include on the village checklist the names of all persons living within the village who are on the checklist of the town in which the village is located, except as provided in section 2122 of this title. No separate application or other action on the part of the voter shall be required. (Added 1979, No. 200 (Adj. Sess.), § 9; 1999, No. 134 (Adj. Sess.), § 7, eff. Jan. 1, 2001.)


  • Subchapter 002: REGISTRATION OF VOTERS
  • § 2141. Posting of checklist

    (a) At least 30 days before any local, primary, or general election, the town clerk shall cause copies of the most recent checklist of the persons registered to vote to be posted in two or more public places in the municipality in addition to being posted at the town clerk's office; however, in a municipality having a population of less than 5,000 registered voters, only one checklist in addition to the one posted in the town clerk's office need be posted.

    (b) Upon the checklist shall be stated against the name of each voter, if possible, the street and number of each voter's residence and otherwise the mailing address of each voter's residence. Additions or amendments to the checklist may be attached to the checklist by means of a separate list.

    (c) The town clerk shall make available a copy of the list, together with lists of corrections and additions when made:

    (1) to the chair of each political party in the municipality, upon request, free of charge;

    (2) to officers with whom primary petitions are filed under section 2357 of this title, free of charge; and

    (3) to any other person, upon request, at cost. (Added 1977, No. 269 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; amended 1979, No. 200 (Adj. Sess.), § 10; 2001, No. 5, § 3; 2013, No. 161 (Adj. Sess.), § 3; 2017, No. 50, § 3.)

  • § 2142. Revision of checklist

    (a) The town clerk shall call such meetings of the board of civil authority as may be necessary before an election or at other times for revision of the checklist.

    (b) Notice of a meeting, along with a copy of the most recent checklist and a separate list of names that have been challenged and may be removed, shall be posted in two or more public places within each voting district and in the town clerk's office.

    (c) A quorum of the board of civil authority shall be as provided in subdivision 2103(5) of this title, and written notice shall be provided to each member as established in 24 V.S.A. § 801. (Added 1977, No. 269 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; amended 1979, No. 200 (Adj. Sess.), § 11; 2013, No. 161 (Adj. Sess.), § 3; 2015, No. 44, § 1, eff. Jan. 1, 2017.)

  • § 2143. Political representation on board of civil authority

    (a) If the board of civil authority of any political subdivision does not contain at least three members of each major political party and the party committee or at least three voters request increased representation for an underrepresented major political party by filing a written request with the clerk of the political subdivision, the legislative body shall appoint from a list of names submitted to it by the underrepresented party a sufficient number of voters to the board of civil authority to bring the underrepresented major party's membership on the board to three. A person's name shall not be submitted unless he or she consents to serve if appointed.

    (b) The persons so appointed shall have the same duties and authority with respect to elections as have other members of the board, but those persons shall have no authority with respect to functions of the board of civil authority that are not related to elections. (Added 1977, No. 269 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; amended 1979, No. 200 (Adj. Sess.), § 12; 2001, No. 5, § 13; 2013, No. 161 (Adj. Sess.), § 3.)

  • § 2144. Submitting applications

    (a) On any day other than the day of an election, the town clerk shall accept a person's application for his or her name to be placed on the checklist at the town clerk's office during all normal business hours.

    (b) On the day of an election:

    (1) A person may submit an application for addition to the checklist to the presiding officer at the polling place of the town in which the person seeks to register during the hours of voting established by the board of civil authority for that polling place. In towns with more than one polling place, the polling place shall be that which covers the area in which the person resides.

    (2) The presiding officer or his or her designated election official shall review all applications submitted at the polling place and shall approve those applications that meet the requirements of section 2121 of this chapter. Upon approval, the applicant's name shall be added to the checklist at the polling place, and the applicant shall be provided with the opportunity to vote in the election. The town clerk shall add the information in the application to the statewide voter checklist within five business days of the day of the election.

    (3) If the presiding officer or the designated election official cannot determine from an application submitted on election day that an applicant meets the requirements of section 2121 of this chapter, the presiding officer shall immediately refer the application to any members of the board of civil authority, or its equivalent entity under any applicable charter, present at the polling place, who shall meet immediately and proceed under section 2146 of this chapter to determine whether the applicant meets the requirements of section 2121 of this chapter. For purposes of adding applicant's names to the checklist under this subdivision (3), a quorum of the board or its equivalent entity shall be as provided in section 2451 of this title. If the board rejects an applicant, it shall notify him or her at the polling place.

    (c) [Repealed.]

    (d) [Repealed.]  (Added 1977, No. 269 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; amended 1979, No. 200 (Adj. Sess.), § 13; 1981, No. 239 (Adj. Sess.), § 9; 1985, No. 198 (Adj. Sess.), § 7; 1991, No. 118 (Adj. Sess.), § 2, eff. Feb. 26, 1992; 1995, No. 4, § 1; 1997, No. 47, § 2; 2001, No. 6, § 12(a), eff. April 10, 2001; 2003, No. 59, § 2; 2007, No. 72, § 1; 2015, No. 44, § 2, eff. Jan. 1, 2017.)

  • § 2144a. Registration

    A person who desires to register to vote may apply in any of the following ways:

    (1) Simultaneously with his or her application for, or renewal of, a motor vehicle driver's license or nondriver identification card as provided in section 2145a of this chapter.

    (2) By completing a voter registration application at a voter registration agency.

    (3) By delivering, during regular hours, or mailing a completed application form to the office of the clerk of the town in which the applicant claims to be a resident.

    (4) By completing a voter registration application and delivering it to the presiding officer before the close of the polls at the polling place of the town in which the person seeks to register. In towns with more than one polling place, the polling place shall be that which covers the area in which the person resides. (Added 1997, No. 47, § 3; amended 2015, No. 44, § 3, eff. Jan. 1, 2017; 2015, No. 80 (Adj. Sess.), § 4, eff. July 1, 2017.)

  • § 2144b. Additions to checklist by town clerk

    (a)(1) A town clerk shall review all applications to the voter checklist and shall approve those applications that meet the requirements of this chapter. Once approved, application information shall be added to the statewide voter checklist within three business days of receipt by the town clerk's office.

    (2) If an applicant has failed upon the date of the election to provide any information required upon the application form pursuant to section 2145 of this title, the town clerk shall notify the applicant that the form was incomplete and the applicant may provide the information on or before the date of the election.

    (b) [Repealed.]

    (c) If the town clerk does not determine that an applicant meets the requirements of section 2121 of this title, the clerk shall immediately forward the application to the board of civil authority, which shall meet in a timely manner after the receipt of the application and proceed under section 2146 of this title to determine whether the applicant meets the requirements of section 2121. For purposes of adding applicants to the checklist, a quorum shall consist of three members of the board of civil authority.

    (d) Periodically, or at least five days prior to each election, the town clerk shall forward to the board of civil authority a list of additions to the checklist. (Added 2001, No. 7, § 3, eff. April 10, 2001; amended 2003, No. 59, § 3; 2013, No. 161 (Adj. Sess.), § 3.)

  • § 2145. Application forms

    (a) The voter registration application shall be in the form approved by the Federal Election Commission or by the Secretary of State. The application form approved by the Secretary shall include:

    (1) A place for the applicant to swear or affirm, by checking the appropriate box, that he or she meets all voter eligibility requirements set forth in section 2121 of this title and a place for the signature of the applicant affirming, under penalty of perjury, that all information submitted by the applicant is accurate and truthful. The affirmation shall include the following information:

    (A) The applicant's place and date of birth.

    (B) The applicant's town of legal residence.

    (C) The applicant's street address or a description of the physical location of the applicant's residence. The description must contain sufficient information so that the town clerk can determine whether the applicant is a resident of the town.

    (D)(i) If the applicant has been issued a current and valid driver's license or nondriver's identification, the applicant's driver's license number or nondriver's identification number;

    (ii) If the applicant does not possess a driver's license number, the last four digits of the applicant's Social Security number; or

    (iii) If the applicant does not possess a Social Security number, the town clerk shall contact the Secretary of State and the Secretary shall assign a unique identifier for the applicant.

    (E) The applicant's e-mail address, which shall be optional to provide.

    (2) The voter's oath.

    (3) Space for the town clerk to document action on the application.

    (4) The following statements:

    (A) "If you were provided with this application form by a voter registration agency, you may decline to register. If you decline to register, your failure to register will remain confidential and will be used only for voter registration purposes."

    (B) "If you are submitting this application through a voter registration agency, the office through which you submitted this application will remain confidential and will be used only for voter registration purposes."

    (5) [Repealed.]

    (b) [Repealed.]

    (c) A board of civil authority or town clerk may not require a person to complete any form other than that approved under subsection (a) of this section or section 2145a of this title; nor may the board of civil authority or the town clerk require all applicants or any particular class or group of applicants to appear personally before a meeting of the board or routinely or as a matter of policy require applicants to submit additional information to verify or otherwise support the information contained in the application form.

    (d) When the board of civil authority acts on an application to add a name to the checklist, it or, upon request of the board, the town clerk shall notify the applicant by returning one copy of the completed application to the applicant and shall notify the town in which the applicant was last registered to vote, whether within or without the State of Vermont, by submitting the notification electronically within the statewide voter checklist system or by mailing a copy of the completed application to that town before adding the applicant's name and mailing address to the checklist. The original application shall be filed in the office of the town clerk.

    (e) The Secretary of State shall provide each town clerk and voter registration agency with a sufficient number of forms at State expense.

    (f) A person who makes a false statement in completing a voter registration application form or the voter registration portion of an application for a motor vehicle driver's license or nondriver identification card knowing the statement to be false shall be subject to the penalties of perjury as provided in 13 V.S.A. § 2901, except that a person who is not eligible to register to vote and who otherwise completes the application accurately shall not be considered to have made a false statement under this subsection by his or her unintentional failure to decline to register on a motor vehicle driver's license or nondriver identification card application under section 2145a of this chapter.

    (g) A voter who moves from one address in a town in which that voter is registered to another address in the same town, or whose name has been changed, shall not be required to reapply as provided in this section, but shall notify the town clerk of his or her new name or address, unless such information has been provided to the Department of Motor Vehicles or a voter registration agency, so that the voter's name may be changed or transferred, if necessary, to the proper subdivision of the checklist. The voter registration application form may be used to notify the clerk or the board that the voter has changed his or her name or address. (Added 1977, No. 269 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; amended 1981, No. 239 (Adj. Sess.), § 10; 1997, No. 47, § 4; 2001, No. 7, § 1, eff. Jan. 1, 2002; 2003, No. 59, § 4; 2013, No. 161 (Adj. Sess.), § 3; 2015, No. 44, § 4, eff. Jan. 1, 2017; 2015, No. 80 (Adj. Sess.), § 2, eff. July 1, 2017.)

  • § 2145a. Registrations at the Department of Motor Vehicles

    (a) An application for, or renewal of, a motor vehicle driver's license or nondriver identification card shall serve as a simultaneous application to register to vote unless the applicant checks the box on the application designating that he or she declines to use the application as a voter registration application.

    (b)(1) A motor vehicle driver's license or nondriver identification card application shall provide and request the following information and shall be in the form approved by the Secretary of State:

    (A) The applicant's citizenship.

    (B) The applicant's place and date of birth.

    (C) The applicant's town of legal residence.

    (D) The applicant's street address or a description of the physical location of the applicant's residence. The description must contain sufficient information so that the town clerk can determine whether the applicant is a resident of the town.

    (E) The voter's oath.

    (F) The applicant's e-mail address, which shall be optional to provide.

    (2) A motor vehicle driver's license or nondriver identification card application shall provide the following statements:

    (A) "By signing and submitting this application, you are authorizing the Department of Motor Vehicles to transmit this application to the Secretary of State for voter registration purposes. YOU MAY DECLINE TO REGISTER. Both the office through which you submit this application and your decision of whether or not to register will remain confidential and will be used for voter registration purposes only."

    (B) "In order to be registered to vote, you must: (1) be a U.S. citizen; (2) be a resident of Vermont; (3) have taken the voter's oath; and (4) be 18 years of age or older. Any person meeting the requirements of (1)-(3) who will be 18 years of age on or before the date of a general election may register and vote in the primary election immediately preceding that general election. Failure to decline to register is an attestation that you meet the requirements to vote."

    (3) A motor vehicle driver's license or nondriver identification card application shall provide the penalties provided by law for submission of a false voter registration application and shall require the signature of the applicant, under penalty of perjury.

    (c) An application for voter registration under this section shall update any previous voter registration by the applicant. Any change of address form submitted to the Department of Motor Vehicles in connection with an application for a motor vehicle driver's license shall serve to update voter registration information previously provided by the voter, unless the voter states on the form that the change of address is not for voter registration purposes.

    (d)(1) The Department of Motor Vehicles shall transmit motor vehicle driver's license and nondriver identification card applications received under this section to the Secretary of State not later than five days after the date the application was accepted by the Department, or before the date of any primary or general election, whichever is sooner.

    (2) The Department of Motor Vehicles shall not transmit motor vehicle driver's license and nondriver identification card applications when the applicant has designated that he or she declines to be registered.

    (3) The Department of Motor Vehicles shall ensure confidentiality of records as required by subdivision (b)(2)(A) of this section.

    (e) The Secretary shall promptly transmit applications received under this section to the clerks of the appropriate municipalities.

    (f) In transmitting applications received under this section, the Secretary shall ensure compliance with the requirements of 15 V.S.A. chapter 21, subchapter 3.

    (g) If a person who is ineligible to vote becomes registered to vote pursuant to this section in the absence of a violation of subsection 2145(f) of this chapter, that person's registration shall be presumed to have been effected with official authorization and not the fault of that person.

    (h) The Secretary shall take appropriate measures to educate the public about voter registration under this section. (Added 1997, No. 47, § 5; amended 2013, No. 161 (Adj. Sess.), § 3; 2015, No. 44, § 5, eff. Jan. 1, 2017; 2015, No. 80 (Adj. Sess.), § 1, eff. July 1, 2017.)

  • § 2145b. Voter registration agencies

    (a) Each voter registration agency shall:

    (1) distribute voter registration application forms approved under section 2145 of this title;

    (2) assist applicants in completing voter registration application forms, unless the applicant refuses such assistance; and

    (3) accept completed voter registration applications and transmit completed applications to the Secretary of State not later than 10 days after the date of acceptance, or before the date of any primary or general election, whichever is sooner.

    (b) The Secretary shall promptly transmit applications received under this section to the clerks of the appropriate municipalities.

    (c) A voter registration agency shall provide each applicant who does not decline to register to vote the same degree of assistance with regard to the completion of the voter registration application that the office provides with regard to the completion of its own forms, unless the applicant refuses such assistance. If an agency provides services to a person with a disability at the person's home, the agency shall provide the services described in subsection (a) of this section at the person's home.

    (d) A voter registration agency that provides services or assistance in addition to conducting voter registration shall distribute a voter registration application with each application for the services or assistance provided by the agency, and with each recertification, renewal, or change of address form relating to those services or assistance. In addition to the voter registration application form, the agency shall distribute a separate form that includes the following:

    (1) The question, "If you are not registered to vote where you live now, would you like to apply to register to vote here today?"

    (2) In the case of an agency that provides public assistance, the statement, "Applying to register or declining to register to vote will not affect the amount of assistance that you will be provided by this agency."

    (3) Boxes for the applicant to check to indicate whether the applicant would like to register or declines to register to vote, together with the statement, "IF YOU DO NOT CHECK EITHER BOX, YOU WILL BE CONSIDERED TO HAVE DECIDED NOT TO REGISTER TO VOTE AT THIS TIME."

    (4) The statement, "If you would like help in filling out the voter registration application form, we will help you. The decision whether to seek or accept help is yours. You may fill out the application form in private."

    (5) The statement, "If you believe that someone has interfered with your right to register or to decline to register to vote, you may file a complaint with the Secretary of State (Secretary of State's office address and telephone number)."  (Added 1997, No. 47, § 6; amended 2013, No. 161 (Adj. Sess.), § 3; 2015, No. 44, § 6, eff. Jan. 1, 2017.)

  • § 2145c. Submission of voter registration forms by other persons or organizations

    Any person or any organization other than a voter registration agency that accepts a completed voter registration form on behalf of an applicant shall submit that form to the town clerk of the town of that applicant not later than seven days after the date of acceptance, or before the date of any primary or general election, whichever is sooner. (Added 2013, No. 161 (Adj. Sess.), § 3; amended 2015, No. 44, § 7, eff. Jan. 1, 2017.)

  • § 2146. Action of board of civil authority or town clerk in revising checklist

    (a) At a meeting to revise the checklist, the board of civil authority shall determine whether any person who has applied to be registered to vote meets the requirements of section 2121 of this title. On demand of a majority of the board present, applicants may be examined under oath concerning the facts stated in the application. The board may make such investigation as it deems proper to verify any statement made under oath by an applicant.

    (b) As soon as possible, after receipt of an application, the board or, upon request of the board, the town clerk shall inform an applicant of its action as provided in subsection (d) of section 2145 of this chapter. If the board rejects an applicant, it shall also notify him or her forthwith, in person or by first class mail directed to the address given in the application, of its reasons. The notice shall be in substantially the following form:

     

    REJECTION OF APPLICATION FOR ADDITION

    TO CHECKLIST

    The Board of Civil Authority of   ………………………………………...,

    (Town/City)

    having met on  .......20  .... to consider applications for addition to the checklist, have found probable cause, as stated below, to reject the application of  ............

    ..................................................................... .

    (Name)

    Cause for rejection:

    (a) AGE:

    (b) CITIZENSHIP:

    (c) VOTER'S OATH:

    (d) RESIDENCE:

    The Board of Civil Authority will meet on the  .......... day of ......., 20  ........, at  .................... o'clock at the following location:  .................... to reconsider your application and give you an opportunity to appear before the Board. You may present any information or witnesses you wish at that time, or you may appeal directly to any Superior or District judge in this county or district.

    .............................................................................

    Town Clerk or Chairman of Board

    of Civil Authority 

     

     (c) If the notice required under subsection (b) of this section is returned undelivered, the board of civil authority shall proceed to remove the person's name from the checklist in the manner set forth in section 2150 of this title. (Added 1977, No. 269 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; amended 1979, No. 200 (Adj. Sess.), § 14; 1981, No. 239 (Adj. Sess.), § 11; 1997, No. 47, §§ 7, 11; 2013, No. 161 (Adj. Sess.), §§ 3, 72.)

  • § 2147. Alteration of checklist

    (a) Pursuant to section 2150 of this title, the board of civil authority or, upon request of the board, the town clerk shall add to the checklist the names of the voters added and the names omitted by mistake and shall strike the names of persons not entitled to vote. The list so corrected shall not be altered except by:

    (1) adding the names of persons as directed by any Superior judge on appeal;

    (2) adding the names of persons who are legal voters at the election but whose names are further discovered to be omitted from the completed checklist solely through inadvertence or error;

    (3) adding the names of persons who present a valid application for addition to the checklist of that town or a copy thereof, and who otherwise are qualified to be added to the checklist;

    (4) [Repealed.]

    (5) subdividing the checklist as provided in section 2501 of this title, including the transfer of names of voters who have moved within a town in which they are already registered from one voting district within that town to another; or

    (6) adding the names of persons who previously submitted an incomplete application and who provide that information on or before election day.

    (b) Any correction or transfer may be accomplished at any time until the closing of the polls on election day. Each voter has primary responsibility to ascertain that his or her name is properly added to and retained on the checklist. (Added 1977, No. 269 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; amended 2001, No. 7, § 2, eff. April 10, 2001; 2003, No. 59, § 5; 2013, No. 161 (Adj. Sess.), § 3; 2015, No. 44, § 8, eff. Jan. 1, 2017.)

  • § 2148. Appeal from board of civil authority

    (a) Any person whose application to vote has been rejected or whose name has been removed from the checklist may appeal to any superior or district judge in the county or district in which the applicant claims residence. If there is no judge available in the county or district, the appeal may be taken to any superior or district judge. When an appeal is initiated after the Thursday immediately preceding the day of an election, it shall be conducted at once by the judge. In all instances, the appeal shall be conducted with sufficient speed, in order to resolve, when possible, all issues on appeal in sufficient time to permit a successful appellant to vote at the pending election. Neither formal pleadings nor filing fee shall be required and an appellant may represent himself or herself.

    (b) An appeal is commenced by presenting an informal but written notice of appeal to the judge to whom the appeal is taken. The notice need only be sufficient to identify the appellant and the town in which he or she has been denied eligibility to vote. The judge shall forthwith schedule a hearing and notify the appellant and the town clerk, personally or by certified mail. The appellant and any other person may present evidence at the hearing, which shall be conducted informally so as to do substantial justice to all parties.

    (c) Upon conclusion of the hearing the judge shall issue a written order, either affirming the decision of the board of civil authority, or ordering that the appellant's name be added to the checklist. The applicant shall not be permitted to vote unless and until the town clerk receives a written order from the court ordering that the applicant be permitted to vote. (Added 1977, No. 269 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; amended 1979, No. 200 (Adj. Sess.), § 15; 1985, No. 198 (Adj. Sess.), § 8.)

  • § 2149. Conclusiveness of list

    (a) A person shall not vote at an election unless his or her name is on the checklist applicable to the municipality, but the checklist may be amended and corrected for such election as provided in this title. The eligibility of a person to vote shall not be challenged on the day of election if the person's name is on the checklist, except as provided in section 2564 of this title.

    (b) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (a) of this section:

    (1) If the voter registration records indicate that a voter has moved from an address in the area covered by the polling place, the voter shall be permitted to vote at that polling place if the voter makes an oral or written affirmation that he or she continues to reside in the area covered by that polling place. The affirmation authorized by this subdivision shall be made at the polling place before an election official.

    (2) If a voter who failed to return notice sent pursuant to section 2150 of this title has moved from an address in the area covered by one polling place to an address in an area covered by a different polling place within the same municipality, the voter shall upon oral or written confirmation, be permitted to correct the voting records and vote in the current election at the appropriate polling place. The affirmation authorized by this subdivision shall be made at the appropriate polling place before an election official. (Added 1977, No. 269 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; amended 1997, No. 47, § 8.)

  • § 2150. Removing names from checklist

    (a)(1) When a voter from one political subdivision becomes a resident of another political subdivision and is placed on the checklist there, the town clerk shall notify the clerk of the political subdivision where the voter was formerly a resident by submitting the notification electronically within the statewide voter checklist system or by mailing to that clerk a copy of the voter registration application form or other official notice, and that clerk shall strike the voter's name from the checklist of that political subdivision.

    (2) When a town clerk receives a copy of the death certificate of a voter, public notice of the death of a voter, or official notice from the Department of Motor Vehicles that a voter has authorized his or her address to be changed for voting purposes, the clerk shall strike the voter's name from the checklist.

    (3) A town clerk shall also strike from the checklist the name of any voter who files a written request that his or her name be stricken.

    (b) The board of civil authority at any time may consider the eligibility of persons on the checklist whom the board believes may be deceased, may have moved from the municipality, or may be registered in another place and may remove names of persons no longer qualified to vote. However, the board shall not remove any name from the checklist except in accordance with the procedures in subsection (d) of this section, and any systematic program for removing names from the checklist shall be completed at least 90 days before an election.

    (c) In addition to any actions it takes under subsections (a) and (b) of this section, by September 15 of each odd-numbered year the board of civil authority shall review the most recent checklist name by name and consider, for each person whose name appears on the checklist, whether that person is still qualified to vote. In every case where the board of civil authority is unable to determine under subdivisions (d)(1) and (2) of this section that a person is still qualified to vote, the board of civil authority or, upon request of the board, the town clerk shall send a written notice to the person and take appropriate action as provided in subdivisions (d)(3) through (5) of this section. The intent is that when this process is completed there will have been some confirmation or indication of continued eligibility for each person whose name remains on the updated checklist.

    (d) Except as provided in subsection (a) of this section, a board of civil authority shall only remove a name from the checklist in accordance with the following procedure:

    (1) If the board of civil authority is satisfied that a voter whose eligibility is being considered is still qualified to vote in the municipality, the voter's name shall remain on the checklist, and no further action shall be taken.

    (2) If the board of civil authority does not immediately know that the voter is still qualified to vote in the municipality, the board shall attempt to determine with certainty what the true status of the voter's eligibility is. The board of civil authority may consider and rely upon official and unofficial public records and documents, including telephone directories, city directories, newspapers, death certificates, obituary (or other public notice of death), tax records, and any checklist or checklists showing persons who voted in any election within the last four years. The board of civil authority may also designate one or more persons to attempt to contact the voter personally. Any voter whom the board of civil authority finds through such inquiry to be eligible to remain on the checklist shall be retained without further action being taken. The name of any voter proven to be deceased shall be removed from the checklist.

    (3) If after conducting its inquiry the board of civil authority or town clerk is unable to locate a voter whose name is on the checklist, or if the inquiry reveals facts indicating that the voter may no longer be eligible to vote in the municipality, the board of civil authority or, upon request of the board, the town clerk shall send a written notice to the voter. The notice shall be sent by first class mail to the most recent known address of the voter, asking the voter to verify his or her current eligibility to vote in the municipality. The notice shall be sent with the required U.S. Postal Service language for requesting change of address information. Enclosed with the notice shall be a postage paid pre-addressed return form on which the voter may reply swearing or affirming the voter's current place of residence as the municipality in question or alternatively consenting to the removal of the voter's name. The notice required by this subsection shall also include the following:

    (A) A statement informing the voter that if the voter has not changed his or her residence, or if the voter has changed his or her residence but the change was within the area covered by the checklist, the voter should return the form to the town clerk's office. The statement shall also inform the voter that if he or she fails to return the form as provided in this subdivision, written affirmation of the voter's address shall be required before the voter is permitted to vote.

    (B) Information concerning how the voter can register to vote in another state or another municipality within this State.

    (4) If the voter confirms in writing that the voter has changed his or her residence to a place outside the area covered by the checklist, the board of civil authority shall remove the voter's name from the checklist.

    (5) In the case of voters who failed to respond to the notice sent pursuant to subdivision (3) of this subsection, the board of civil authority shall remove the voter's name from the checklist on the day after the second general election following the date of such notice, if the voter has not voted or appeared to vote in an election since the notice was sent or has not otherwise demonstrated his or her eligibility to remain on the checklist.

    (6) Notwithstanding the provisions of subdivision (5) of this subsection, if at any time subsequent to removal of a person's name from the checklist, the board determines that the person was still qualified to vote and that the voter's name should not have been removed, the board shall add the person's name to the checklist as provided in section 2147 of this title. The provisions of this chapter shall be liberally construed, so that if there is any reasonable doubt whether a person's name should have been removed from the checklist, the person shall have the right to have the person's name immediately returned to the checklist.

    (7) The board of civil authority shall keep detailed records of its proceedings under this subchapter for at least two years. These records, except records relating to a person's decision not to register to vote or to the identity of the voter registration agency through which any particular voter registered, shall be public records and shall be available for inspection and copying at actual cost. The records shall include: (A) in the case of each name removed from the checklist, a clear statement of the reason or reasons for which the name was removed; (B) in the case of the updating of the checklist required by subsection (c) of this section, the working copy or copies of the checklist used in the name by name review conducted to ascertain continued eligibility to vote; (C) the total number of new registrations occurring during the period between general elections; (D) the total number of persons removed from the checklist during the period between general elections; and (E) lists of the names and addresses of all persons to whom notices were sent under this subsection, and information concerning whether or not each person to whom a notice was sent responded to the notice as of the date that inspection of the records is made. A letter certifying compliance with this section shall be filed with the Secretary of State by September 20 of each odd-numbered year. Upon request of any Superior judge or upon request of the Secretary of State, the town clerk shall forward a certified copy of the records of checklist maintenance. (Added 1977, No. 269 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; amended 1979, No. 200 (Adj. Sess.), § 16; 1981, No. 239 (Adj. Sess.), § 12, eff. July 1, 1982; § 40, eff. Jan. 1, 1983; 1983, No. 90, §§ 5, 6, eff. April 29, 1983; 1985, No. 45; 1997, No. 47, § 9; 2001, No. 5, § 9; 2003, No. 59, § 6; 2013, No. 161 (Adj. Sess.), § 3; 2015, No. 44, § 9, eff. Jan. 1, 2017.)

  • § 2151. Federal district court

    Within 10 days after the date of a presidential election, the town clerk shall send an unmarked checklist, which was up to date as of election day, to the clerk of the federal district court for the district of Vermont, and shall receive the normal fee for such documents. (Added 1981, No. 20.)

  • § 2152. Division of checklist

    A town clerk may divide the checklist into active and inactive sections. The active section shall include all the qualified voters of the town, except for those voters included in the inactive section, pursuant to this provision. The inactive section shall include only those voters who have failed to respond to the notice sent pursuant to subdivision 2150(d)(3) of this title. The active and inactive designations are for recordkeeping purposes only, and shall have no bearing on voting eligibility. (Added 2001, No. 7, § 4, eff. April 10, 2001.)

  • § 2153. Birthday registration drive

    The secretary of state may develop and implement a statewide voter registration program for the purpose of encouraging persons to register to vote on their 18th birthday. (Added 2001, No. 7, § 5, eff. April 10, 2001.)

  • § 2154. Statewide voter checklist

    (a) The Secretary of State shall establish a uniform and nondiscriminatory, statewide voter registration checklist. This checklist shall serve as the official voter registration list for all elections in the State. In establishing the statewide checklist, the Secretary shall:

    (1) limit the town clerk to adding, modifying, or deleting applicant and voter information on the portion of the checklist for that clerk's municipality;

    (2) limit access to the statewide voter checklist for a local elections official to verifying if the applicant is registered in another municipality in the State by a search for the individual voter;

    (3) notify a local elections official when a voter registered in that official's district registers in another voting district so that the voter may be removed from that district's checklist;

    (4) provide adequate security to prevent unauthorized access to the checklist;

    (5) ensure the compatibility and comparability of information on the checklist with information contained in the Department of Motor Vehicles' computer systems.

    (b) A registered voter's month and day of birth, driver's license or nondriver identification number, e-mail address, and the last four digits of his or her Social Security number shall be kept confidential and are exempt from public copying and inspection under the Public Records Act.

    (c) Any person wishing to obtain a copy of all of the statewide voter checklist must swear or affirm, under penalty of perjury pursuant to 13 V.S.A. chapter 65, that the person will not use the checklist for commercial purposes. The affirmation shall be filed with the Secretary of State.

    (d) An elections official shall not access the portion of the statewide voter checklist that is exempt from public inspection pursuant to 1 V.S.A. § 317(c)(31), except for elections purposes. (Added 2003, No. 59, § 7; amended 2015, No. 23, § 8; 2015, No. 30, § 2, eff. May 26, 2015; 2017, No. 50, § 4.)