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 008 : Count and Return of Votes(Cite as: 17 V.S.A. § 2588)
§ 2588. Filing returns
For any primary or general election:
(1)(A) In towns that count all ballots by hand, as the count of votes for each office or public question is completed, the presiding officer and at least one other election official shall collect the tally sheets, enter the totals shown on the tally sheets upon the summary sheets, add and enter the sum of the figures, and sign the summary sheets.
(B) As each summary sheet is completed, the presiding officer shall publicly announce the results.
(2)(A) In towns that use vote tabulators, after the close of the polls and after all remaining absentee or transfer ballots have been fed into the vote tabulator, the presiding officer shall insert the ender card and the tabulator will print a tape of unofficial results. The presiding officer shall print at least one additional copy of the tabulator tape.
(B) The unofficial results from the tape may be publicly announced, and one copy of the printed tape may be posted in the polling place upon a placard that clearly states: “Unofficial incomplete results.”
(3) The town clerk shall report as soon as practicable on the day of the election the unofficial vote counts of all candidates whose names appeared on the ballot to the Secretary of State. The report shall be made by electronically submitting the vote counts on the Secretary’s online elections reporting system or, if unable to submit electronically, by submitting those vote counts to the Secretary of State by telephone, facsimile, or e-mail.
(4) The Secretary shall ensure that any vote counts submitted by telephone, facsimile, or e-mail are entered into his or her online elections reporting system as soon as practicable after he or she receives them.
(5) The Secretary’s online elections reporting system shall cause the unofficial vote counts to be posted immediately on the Secretary’s official website as soon as those vote counts are submitted.
(6)(A) The presiding officer and one other election official then shall proceed either to complete the return at once, or to store the summary sheets in a safe and secure place until their retrieval for completion of the return. In any event, not later than 48 hours after the polls close, the presiding officer and at least one other election official shall transfer the totals from the summary sheets to the proper spaces on the return, and both shall sign the return.
(B) The town clerk shall store the summary sheets safely so that the public cannot reasonably have access to them for a period of 90 days without the town clerk’s consent.
(C) The original of the return shall be delivered to the town clerk. In a manner prescribed by the Secretary of State and within 48 hours of the close of the polls, the town clerk shall deliver to the Secretary of State, the senatorial district clerk, the county clerk, and the representative district clerk one certified copy each of the return. The town clerk shall also make a copy available to the public upon request. (Added 1977, No. 269 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; amended 1979, No. 200 (Adj. Sess.), § 86; 2003, No. 59, § 39; 2009, No. 40, § 2; 2013, No. 161 (Adj. Sess.), § 40; 2015, No. 30, § 18, eff. May 26, 2015; 2017, No. 50, § 44.)