Letter from the Town Clerk - The Election
Due to COVID guidelines, the State of VT Election Department mailed out ballots to all of my active voters on the checklist. This happened for all municipalities in Vermont.
The State sent 30% of the total amount of mailed ballots to the Town Clerk for new voters or challenged. So, if a town had 100 registered voters, those ballots were mailed directly to the voters, then an additional 30 were mailed to the Town Clerk in case there were lost or damaged ballots or new voter registrations.
I received several messages/calls from residents that they had burned or thrown their ballots away. Because of this, I emailed Will at the Election department, stating I have angry residents who are destroying their mailed in ballots, and asked if I could receive extra ballots for in person voting. I did not hear from him for two weeks. I was incredibly concerned I would not have enough ballots for November 3rd and people would not be able to vote.
I had residents come in without their mailed ballot, and they were required to sign an affidavit that they didn't have a ballot. If they had a ballot after being checked in then they would go to next person.
Yes it was a Justice of the Peace (Jenny Dewar) that you had to hand over your ballot to (even if it was voted on) and you received a new one.
Yes, there was a box of returned ballots / envelopes box next to her.
I am the one that asked the Justice of the Peace to put ballots in the box.
This way I could recycle the unused ballots, if needed. I didn't want anyone to not be able to vote if they did not have their mailed ballot when they showed up in person.
Yes, I realize it upset so many residents voting this year under these circumstances. Covid has changed the way we do so many things. Some residents were outspoken, grumbly, and didn’t like the process. Some even ripped their ballot up in front of us.
However, under this exhausting election we had very few issues, and it ran smoothly.
I would like to Thank all of my poll workers for the long hours that they put in.