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Searching 2019-2020 Session

The Vermont Statutes Online

 

Title 17 : Elections

Chapter 043 : QUALIFICATION AND REGISTRATION OF VOTERS

Subchapter 002 : REGISTRATION OF VOTERS

(Cite as: 17 V.S.A. § 2145b)
  • § 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)(1) 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.

    (2) 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) Except as provided in subsection (e) of this section, 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)."

    (e) The Secretary of State may designate voter registration agencies that shall provide qualified applicants for such agency's services, or qualified inmates within the custody of the Department of Corrections, with automatic voter registration as an integrated option on application forms for services provided by those agencies.

    (1) Such designations shall be limited to a voter registration agency or a specific program administered by such an agency:

    (A) that, in the regular course of the agency's or program's business, already collects and verifies documents necessary to provide proof of an individual's eligibility to vote under subchapter 1 of this chapter; and

    (B) whose secretary, commissioner, or other applicable head of the agency has approved of such designation.

    (2) A voter registration agency shall not collect data necessary to establish an individual's eligibility to vote solely for the purpose of being designated an automatic voter registration agency under this subsection.

    (3) On or before January 1 of each year, the Secretary shall, in accordance with the approval given by a voter registration agency's secretary, commissioner, or other head:

    (A) publish on his or her official website a list of voter registration agencies designated under this subsection;

    (B) specify which programs or services offered by each agency are included within the designation; and

    (C) provide the date by which the agency's specified programs or services will comply with requirements of this subsection.

    (4) Beginning on the date by which a voter registration agency's specified programs or services will comply with requirements of this subsection, an application for those services and any change of address form related to those services provided by the agency shall request the following information in a form approved by the Secretary of State:

    (A) The applicant's citizenship.

    (B) The applicant's 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.

    (5) An application for a designated automatic voter registration agency's services shall provide the following statements:

    (A) "By signing and submitting this application, you are authorizing this voter registration agency 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."

    (6)(A) An application for a designated automatic voter registration agency's services 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.

    (B) If a person who is ineligible to vote becomes registered to vote pursuant to this subsection 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.

    (f)(1) The Secretary of State shall have the authority to audit any voter registration agency to determine compliance with the requirements of this section and to require any voter registration agency to implement any remedial measures necessary to ensure compliance with this section.

    (2) The Secretary of Administration shall provide the Secretary of State any assistance that is necessary to ensure the cooperation of voter registration agencies in implementing any remedial measures the Secretary of State requires under this subsection. (Added 1997, No. 47, § 6; amended 2013, No. 161 (Adj. Sess.), § 3; 2015, No. 44, § 6, eff. Jan. 1, 2017; 2019, No. 67, § 7.)