The Vermont Statutes Online
NOTE: The Vermont Statutes Online is an unofficial copy of the Vermont Statutes Annotated that is provided as a convenience.
NOTE: The online version of the Vermont Statutes does NOT yet include the actions of the 2023 legislative session. The 2023 updates should be available by the end of October.
Subchapter 004 : POLLING PLACES(Cite as: 17 V.S.A. § 2502)
§ 2502. Location of polling places; outdoor polling places
(a) Each polling place shall be located in a public place within the town.
(b) Outdoor polling places. A polling place may be located outdoors if it can be operated in a manner consistent with the provisions of this chapter.
(1) The board of civil authority shall designate the outdoor area that comprises the “polling place” for purposes of restrictions and requirements for polling places imposed pursuant to this chapter, including the restrictions on campaigning and other activities within the building containing the polling place described in subdivisions 2508(a)(1)(A) and (B) of this subchapter.
(2) An indoor polling place alternative shall be available at or near the same physical location as the outdoor polling place in case of inclement weather. If conditions require use of the indoor alternative, the Secretary of State’s office shall be notified immediately of the change.
(3) Candidates and members of the public who would otherwise be allowed to campaign outside an indoor polling place shall be kept a reasonable distance from the outdoor polling place such that any campaigning does not disrupt or interfere in any way with the voting process.
(c) Drive-up voting. Voting may be conducted by a drive-through or drive-up voting method at a polling place if the voting process can be operated in a manner consistent with the provisions of this chapter.
(1) Drive-up voting procedures shall enable voters to complete the voting process without leaving their vehicles, allowing the voters to deposit their ballots directly into a tabulator or secure ballot box that may be brought to the window of the vehicle or located in such a manner that it can be accessed from the vehicle or providing voters an envelope or folder in which to place their voted ballots before handing it to an election official for processing.
(2) Polling places conducting drive-up voting shall also accommodate walk-in voters and those using other forms of transport.
(d) Ballot transfer. If a polling place is outside or if voting is conducted by a drive-up method, ballots may be periodically transferred from a secure outdoor or drive-up ballot box to another secure container for counting after the close of the polls or to election officials who are processing ballots through the tabulator. Any such transfer shall be done in the presence of two election officials, if possible officials of different parties.
(e) Access. The accessible voting system shall be available for those who request it. Additionally, the board of civil authority shall take such measures as are necessary to ensure that voters who are elders or have a disability may conveniently and secretly cast their votes. Measures that may be taken shall include: location of polling places on the ground floor of a building; providing ramps, elevators, or other facilities for access to the polling place; providing a stencil overlay for ballots; providing a separate polling place with direct communication to the main polling place; and permitting election officials to carry a ballot to an elder or to a person who has a disability in order to permit that person to mark the ballot while in a motor vehicle adjacent to the polling place. For purposes of this subsection, the board of civil authority shall have full jurisdiction on the day of an election over the premises at which a polling place is located.
(f) Polling place designation.
(1) Thirty days prior to a local, primary, or general election, the town clerk shall submit to the Secretary of State a list of polling places within the municipality that will be used in that election. The list shall include the name of the polling location, its physical address, and the time the polling place will open.
(2)(A) A municipality may change the location of a polling place less than 30 days prior to an election only in cases of emergency. If a municipality changes the location of a polling place less than 30 days prior to the election, the town clerk shall notify the Secretary of State within 24 hours of the change and provide the new polling place information.
(B) The Secretary of State shall assist any municipality that needs to change the location of a polling place on the day of an election due to an emergency, including assisting in finding a new location and informing the public of that new location.
(C) The Secretary of State shall inform the State chairs of Vermont’s major political parties of any changes made to polling places that he or she is aware of made less than 30 days prior to an election.
(3) The Secretary of State shall provide on his or her official website a list of polling places that will be used in any local, primary, or general election within the State and shall specifically provide notice on that website of any change in the location of a municipality’s polling place. (Added 1977, No. 269 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; amended 1985, No. 11; 1991, No. 147 (Adj. Sess.), § 4, eff. April 25, 1992; 2003, No. 94 (Adj. Sess.), § 3; 2013, No. 96 (Adj. Sess.), § 82; 2013, No. 161 (Adj. Sess.), § 34; 2021, No. 60, § 2, eff. June 7, 2021.)