The Vermont Statutes Online
The Vermont Statutes Online have been updated to include the actions of the 2023 session of the General Assembly.
NOTE: The Vermont Statutes Online is an unofficial copy of the Vermont Statutes Annotated that is provided as a convenience.
Subchapter 006 : Early or Absentee Voters(Cite as: 17 V.S.A. § 2539)
§ 2539. Delivery of early voter absentee ballots
(a) Default; town office or mail.
(1) Except as provided in subsections (b) and (c) of this section, unless the early or absentee voter votes in the town clerk’s office as set forth in section 2537 of this title, the town clerk shall provide to the early or absentee voter who comes to the town clerk’s office a complete set of early voter absentee ballots or mail a complete set of early voter absentee ballots to each early or absentee voter for whom a valid application has been filed.
(2) Except as provided in subdivision (3) of this subsection, the early voter absentee ballots shall be mailed forthwith upon the filing of a valid application or upon the town clerk’s receipt of the necessary ballots, whichever is later.
(3)(A) For any general election, if a voter transfers his or her registration from another town or city in the State following the mailing of ballots to all active voters by the Secretary of State’s office pursuant to section 2537a of this subchapter, before issuing an absentee ballot the clerk shall confirm the status of the ballot that was previously mailed to that voter by the Secretary of State and proceed as follows:
(i) If the voter has voted and returned the ballot issued to the voter by the Secretary of State to the town in which the voter was previously registered, the voter shall not be issued a ballot nor be allowed to cast another ballot in the same general election and shall be registered following the election.
(ii) If the voter did not receive or did not return the ballot that was previously sent to the voter by the Secretary of State, the voter may be issued another ballot for the general election if:
(aa) the voter returned the unvoted ballot that was previously issued to the voter; or
(bb) the voter signs an affidavit stating that the voter has not previously cast a ballot in that general election.
(B) If a voter registers to vote for the first time in Vermont following the time when the Secretary of State’s office generated the address file to be used for the mailing of ballots to all active voters by the Secretary of State’s office, the clerk shall either issue a ballot to the voter in person at the time of registration or mail a ballot to the voter within three business days, provided the voter’s registration does not occur within five days of the election. If the clerk does not have ballots available at the time of registration, the clerk shall mail a ballot to the voter within three business days after obtaining ballots.
(b) Voters who are ill, injured, or have a disability. In the case of persons who are early or absentee voters due to illness, injury, or disability, if the voter or authorized person requests in his or her application or otherwise that early voter absentee ballots be mailed or electronically delivered, the town clerk shall mail or electronically deliver the ballots; otherwise the ballots shall be delivered to the voter by justices of the peace as set forth in section 2538 of this subchapter.
(c) Military or overseas voters.
(1) Early voter absentee ballots for military or overseas voters shall be sent air mail, first class, postpaid when such service is available, or they may be electronically delivered when requested by the voter.
(2)(A) The town clerk’s office shall be open on the 46th day before any election that includes a federal office and the town clerk shall send on or before that day all absentee ballots to any military or overseas voter who requested an early voter absentee ballot on or before that day.
(B) On that day the town clerk shall complete any reporting requirements and any other responsibilities regarding the mailing of early voter absentee ballots to military or overseas voters, as directed by the Secretary of State. (Added 1977, No. 269 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; amended 1979, No. 200 (Adj. Sess.), § 69; 2001, No. 6, § 8, eff. April 10, 2001; 2013, No. 96 (Adj. Sess.), § 222; 2013, No. 161 (Adj. Sess.), § 38; 2019, No. 67, § 14; 2021, No. 60, § 8, eff. June 7, 2021.)