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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 009 : Recounts and Contest of Elections

(Cite as: 17 V.S.A. § 2602c)
  • § 2602c. Preparation for recount; general rules

    (a) Recount area; preserving order.

    (1)(A) The county clerk shall designate an area within which the recount shall take place.

    (B) Persons who are not committee members or who have not been designated as impartial assistants by the county clerk shall be permitted to view the recount in progress, but shall not be permitted within the recount area.

    (2) The county clerk shall preserve order. If a person, after notice, is persistently disorderly and refuses to withdraw from the premises, the county clerk may cause the person to be removed from the premises.

    (b) Preliminary requirements. Before the recount begins and any containers are opened:

    (1) Explaining procedures. The county clerk shall explain the recount procedures that are to be followed and shall answer questions relating to such procedures.

    (2) Blank ballots; vote tabulator test.

    (A) The county clerk shall obtain blank ballots from the town clerks of the towns subject to the recount. These blank ballots shall be used as test ballots to perform the vote tabulator test described in this subdivision (2).

    (B)(i) The vote tabulator team shall perform a test of the vote tabulators that will be used by marking and feeding into each tabulator a minimum of 10 test ballots. The test ballots shall be marked with various votes for each candidate for the office subject to the recount.

    (ii) If more than one memory card is to be used, such a test shall be performed for each memory card.

    (C) If a vote tabulator does not tabulate these votes accurately, it shall not be used.

    (D) Once the test is completed, these ballots and the tabulator tape containing the results of the test shall be sealed in an envelope that shall be dated and marked “TEST BALLOTS—DO NOT COUNT.” This envelope shall then be kept separate from the rest of the containers.

    (c) Tables. Each team shall have a separate table and the county clerk shall have a separate table, and all of these tables shall be spaced apart.

    (d) Separating containers, polling places, and towns. Each recount team shall:

    (1) recount the contents of one container before opening another container at its table;

    (2) recount the contents of all the containers relating to one polling place before moving to those of another polling place; and

    (3) complete the recount for one town before moving to material relating to another town.

    (e) Recording containers. For each town, the number of containers shall be counted and recorded on the summary sheet for that town.

    (f) Inspecting containers and seals.

    (1) Containers. Before opening, each container shall be inspected, and if no tag is present, replacement manila tags shall be affixed, specifying date of election and name of town and polling place.

    (2) Seals.

    (A) Each seal shall be inspected to see if it is intact, and the county clerk shall attach to any container with a defective seal a tag stating that the seal was defective and containing the information that was contained on the defective seal.

    (B) If a seal number does not match the seal number reported by the town clerk on the official return of votes, the county clerk shall contact the town clerk to request an explanation for that difference. The county clerk shall record any explanation on the summary sheet for that town.

    (g) Uncounted containers. Uncounted containers shall be kept in one part of the room and moved to the other side as they are counted.

    (h) Checklist container. If there is more than one container from a polling place, the county clerk shall open first the container that is identified as containing the checklist, if applicable.

    (i) Opening containers. The county clerk shall empty the contents of each container onto his or her table in the presence of the clerk observer team.

    (j) Materials not to be distributed. The county clerk shall ensure that teams are not given, and the teams shall not count:

    (1) ballots marked defective or contained in a defective ballot envelope;

    (2) unused ballots that were not distributed to voters; or

    (3) ballots returned by voters who requested replacement ballots, or ballots contained in a replaced ballot envelope.

    (k) Recording defective ballots. In the presence of the clerk observer team, the county clerk shall mark the number of defective ballots from the official return of votes for each town on the summary sheet for that town. (Added 1985, No. 148 (Adj. Sess.), § 5; amended 2001, No. 6, § 12(a), eff. April 10, 2001; 2013, No. 161 (Adj. Sess.), § 42; 2017, No. 50, § 1.)