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Searching 2023-2024 Session

The Vermont Statutes Online

The Vermont Statutes Online does not include the actions of the 2024 session of the General Assembly. We expect them to be updated by November 1st.

NOTE: The Vermont Statutes Online is an unofficial copy of the Vermont Statutes Annotated that is provided as a convenience.

Title 17 : Elections

Chapter 051 : Conduct of Elections

Subchapter 003 : Vote Tabulators

(Cite as: 17 V.S.A. § 2493)
  • § 2493. Rules for use of vote tabulators; audits

    (a) The Secretary of State shall adopt rules governing the use and the selection of any vote tabulator in the State. These rules shall include requirements that:

    (1) All municipalities that have voted to use a vote tabulator shall use a uniform vote tabulator approved by the Secretary of State.

    (2) The Secretary of State shall provide for the security of vote tabulators at all times. Vote tabulators, not including the ballot box portion, shall be locked in a vault or a secure location at all times when not in use.

    (3)(A) The Secretary of State shall conduct a random postelection audit of any polling place election results for a general election within 30 days of the election.

    (B) If the Secretary determines that a random audit shall be conducted of the election results in a town or city, the town clerk shall direct two members of the board of civil authority to transport the ballot bags to the office of the Secretary not later than 10:00 a.m. on the morning when the Secretary has scheduled the audit.

    (C) The Secretary shall open the ballot bags and conduct the audit in the same manner as ballots are counted under sections 2581 through 2588 of this chapter. The Secretary shall publicly announce the results of the audit as well as the results from the original return of the vote.

    (D) If the Secretary finds that the audit indicates that there was possible fraud in the count or return of votes, he or she shall refer the results to the Attorney General for possible prosecution.

    (4)(A) All vote tabulators shall be set to reject a ballot that contains an overvote and the voter shall be provided the opportunity to obtain another ballot and correct the overvote. If an early voter absentee ballot contains an overvote, the elections official shall override the vote tabulator and count all races except any race that contains an overvote.

    (B) All vote tabulators shall be set not to reject undervotes.

    (5) Establish a process for municipalities using vote tabulators, whereby markings on ballots that are unreadable by a vote tabulator may be transferred by a pair of election officials, who are not members of the same political party, to ballots that are readable by the vote tabulator.

    (6) Establish a process for using vote tabulators in recounts.

    (b) Each vote tabulator shall be tested using official ballots that are marked clearly as “test ballots” at least 10 days prior to an election. This test shall be open to the public.

    (c) The same vote tabulator or vote tabulator memory card used in any local, primary, or general election shall not be used in a recount of that election.

    (d) A vote tabulator shall be a stand-alone device that shall not be connected to any other device or connections such as wireless connections, cable connections, cellular telephones, or telephone lines.

    (e) A municipality only may use a vote tabulator as provided in this title that registers and counts votes cast on paper ballots and that otherwise meets the requirements of this title. A municipality shall not use any type of voting machine on which a voter casts his or her vote. (Added 1977, No. 269 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; amended 1979, No. 200 (Adj. Sess.), § 51; 2001, No. 5, § 5; 2003, No. 59, § 22; 2003, No. 94 (Adj. Sess.), § 2; 2007, No. 54, § 8; 2015, No. 30, § 12, eff. May 26, 2015; 2017, No. 50, § 23.)