The Vermont Statutes Online
Subchapter 006 : EARLY OR ABSENTEE VOTERS(Cite as: 17 V.S.A. § 2547)
§ 2547. Defective ballots
(a) If upon examination by the election officials it shall appear that any of the following defects is present, either the ballot or the unopened certificate envelope shall be marked "defective" and the ballot shall not be counted:
(1) the identity of the early or absentee voter cannot be determined;
(2) the early or absentee voter is not legally qualified to vote;
(3) the early or absentee voter has voted in person or previously returned a ballot in the same election;
(4) the certificate is not signed;
(5) the voted ballot is not in the certificate envelope; or
(6) in the case of a primary vote, the early or absentee voter has failed to return the unvoted primary ballots.
(b) Each defective ballot or unopened certificate envelope shall be:
(1) affixed with a note from the presiding officer indicating the reason it was determined to be defective; and
(2) placed with other such defective ballots in an envelope marked "Defective Ballots - Voter Checked Off Checklist - Do Not Count".
(c) The provisions of this section shall be indicated prominently in the early or absentee voter material prepared by the Secretary of State.
(d)(1) If a ballot is deemed defective, the voter shall be notified of the defect in accordance with the provisions of subdivision 2546(a)(2)(B) of this subchapter. Upon notification, the voter may cure the defect until the closing of the polls on election day by:
(A) correcting the defect or submitting a new absentee ballot in person at the clerk's office or at the polling place on election day;
(B) requesting a new ballot be mailed to them by the clerk along with materials for submission of the new ballot, provided the new ballot is received by the presiding officer or other sworn election official prior to the closing of the polls; or
(C) for a voter who failed to sign the certificate envelope, failed to place the voted ballot in the certificate envelope, or did not return their unvoted primary ballots in the unvoted ballot envelope, returning the signed affidavit included in the notice under subdivision 2546(a)(2)(B)(iii) of this subchapter either by mail, in person, or electronically, provided the affidavit is received by the presiding officer or other sworn election official prior to the closing of the polls if returned in person or by mail or prior to the close of business on the day before the election if returned electronically.
(2)(A) If a voter corrects the defect in accordance with subdivision (1)(A) or (1)(C) of this subsection (d), the clerk shall update the status of the ballot to "received - accepted" in the online election management system.
(B) If a voter corrects the defect by requesting a new ballot be mailed to them under subdivision (1)(B) of this subsection (d), the clerk shall enter a second absentee ballot request and issue date for that voter in the online election management system.
(3) The same voter may cure a ballot deemed defective not more than twice for any single election. (Added 1977, No. 269 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; amended 1985, No. 196 (Adj. Sess.), § 6; 2001, No. 6, § 11, eff. April 10, 2001; 2015, No. 30, § 14, eff. May 26, 2015; 2017, No. 50, § 34; 2019, No. 67, § 14; 2021, No. 60, § 16, eff. June 7, 2021.)