Roll Call! House Rejects Ballot Security Measures for All-Mail Voting (39-99), 2021


in the State House of Representatives
on May 12, 2021, by a vote of

Purpose: The key provision in the underlying bill, S.15, is to make permanent the practice of mailing “live” absentee ballots to all active voters on the statewide checklist regardless of a request by the voter, starting with the 2022 general election. There is a provision in S.15 requiring the Secretary of State’s Office to study and report on options for incorporating absentee ballot security measures into the process, but this report is not due until 2023 – after an unsecure election has already have taken place. The Strong Amendment would delay implementation of vote-by-mail elections until after the SOS report on ballot security is complete, thus putting the horse before the cart where it belongs.

Analysis: Testimony from state and local election officials revealed the following facts about Vermont’s absentee ballot security:

  1. Town Clerks and the Director of Elections testified that there is NO WAY to determine if an absentee ballot was filled out and returned by the voter to whom the vote is being attributed. 
  2. Town Clerks and the Director of Elections testified if someone gets hold of someone else’s ballot, or multiple ballots, fills them out and sends them in fraudulently, those votes will almost certainly be processed and counted.
  3. Town Clerks and the Director of Elections testified that the only indication a fraudulent vote may have been cast is if an absentee ballot is received, and a voter shows up at the polls and disputes the validity of the absentee ballot. However:

a. In a high turn-out election as many as 35% voters choose not to vote — their votes can be stolen without possibility of detection. 

b. There is no way to independently verify that the voter did not actually send in their absentee ballot and is in fact voting twice. And,

c. If the voter is telling the truth, they will be allowed to cast a legitimate ballot, but with 30 days of early processing of absentee ballots, there is no way to remove the fraudulent vote from the final count. 

4. All of the states that currently do vote-by-mail have some sort of voter ID provision for absentee ballots whereby election officials can independently verify that the ballot was filled out by the voter to whom the votes are being attributed.

Those voting YES on the Strong Amendment believe it is irresponsible to execute vote-by-mail elections before options for ballot security provisions are even studied by the SOS Office.

Those voting NO on the Strong Amendment believe absentee ballot security measures are not necessary in Vermont, and the “honor system” is enough to ensure election integrity.

Recorded in the House Journal, May 12, 2021: “…Shall the House amend its proposal of amendment as offered by Rep. Strong and others?, was decided in the negative. Yeas, 39. Nays, 99. (Read the Journal, p. 1116 - 1122)

Watch the floor debate on YouTube.

How They Voted
(Click on your Rep’s name to send an email)

Sally Achey (R - Middletown Springs) – YES
Janet Ancel (D – Calais) – NO
Peter Anthony (D – Barre) – NO
Norman Arrison (D - Weathersfield) – NO
Sarita Austin (D – Colchester) – NO
John Bartholomew (D – Hartland) – NO
Lynn Batchelor (R – Derby) – ABSENT
Scott Beck (R – St. Johnsbury) – YES
Matthew Birong (D – Vergennes) – NO
Alyssa Black (D - Essex) – NO
Tiffany Bluemle (D - Burlington) – NO
Thomas Bock (D – Chester) – YES
Seth Bongartz (D - Manchester) – NO
Michelle Bos-Lun (D - Westminster) – NO
Erin Brady (D - Williston) – NO
Patrick Brennan (R – Colchester) – ABSENT
Timothy Briglin (D – Thetford) – NO
Jana Brown (D – Richmond) – NO
Nelson Brownell (D – Pownal) – NO
Jessica Brumsted (D – Shelburne) – NO
Thomas Burditt (R – West Rutland) – NO
Mollie Burke (P/D – Brattleboro) – NO
Elizabeth Burrows (P/D - West Windsor) – NO
Scott Campbell (D – St. Johnsbury) – NO
Bill Canfield (R – Fair Haven) – YES
Seth Chase (D – Colchester) – NO
Kevin “Coach” Christie (D – Hartford) – NO
Brian Cina (P/D – Burlington) – NO
Sara Coffey (D – Guilford) – NO
Selene Colburn (P/D – Burlington) – NO
Hal Colston (D – Winooski) – NO
Peter Conlon (D – Cornwall) – NO
Sarah Copeland-Hanzas (D – Bradford) – NO
Timothy Corcoran (D – Bennington) – NO
Mari Cordes (D/P – Lincoln) – NO
Lawrence Cupoli (R – Rutland) – YES
Lynn Dickinson (R – St. Albans) – YES
Karen Dolan (D - Essex) – NO
Kari Dolan (D – Waitsfield) – NO
Kate Donnally (D - Hyde Park) – NO
Anne Donahue (R – Northfield) – YES
David Durfee (D – Shaftsbury) – NO
Caleb Elder (D – Starksboro) – NO
Alice Emmons (D – Springfield) – NO
Peter Fagan (R – Rutland) – YES
Martha Feltus (R – Lyndon) – YES
John Gannon (D – Wilmington) – NO
Leslie Goldman (D - Bellows Falls) – NO
Kenneth Goslant (R – Northfield) – YES
Maxine Grad (D – Moretown) – NO
Rodney Graham (R – Williamstown) – YES
James Gregoire (R – Fairfield) – ABSENT
Lisa Hango (R – Birkshire) – YES
James Harrison (R – Chittenden) – YES
Robert Helm (R – Fair Haven) – ABSENT
Mark Higley (R – Lowell) – YES
Robert Hooper (D – Burlington) – NO
Mary Hooper (D – Montpelier) – NO
Philip Hooper (D – Randolph) – ABSENT
Lori Houghton (D – Essex) – NO
Mary Howard (D – Rutland) – NO
Kathleen James (D – Manchester) – NO
Stephanie Jerome (D – Brandon) – NO
Kimberly Jessup (D – Middlesex) – NO
John Killacky (D – S. Burlington) – NO
Charles Kimbell (D – Woodstock) – NO
Warren Kitzmiller (D – Montpelier) – NO
Emilie Kornheiser (D – Brattleboro) – NO
Jill Krowinski (D – Burlington) – PRESIDING
Robert LaClair (R – Barre) – YES
Martin LaLonde (D – S. Burlington) – NO
Diane Lanpher (D – Vergennes) – NO
Paul Lefebvre (R – Newark) – YES
Samantha Lefebvre (R - Orange) – YES
Felisha Leffler (R – Enosburgh) – NO

William Lippert (D – Hinesburg) – NO
Emily Long (D – Newfane) – NO
Michael Marcotte (R – Coventry) – YES
Marcia Martel (R – Waterford) – YES
Paul Martin (R - Franklin) – YES
James Masland (D – Thetford) – NO
Christopher Mattos (R – Milton) – YES
Michael McCarthy (D – St. Albans) – NO

Curtis McCormack (D – Burlington) – ABSENT
Patricia McCoy (R – Poultney) – YES
James McCullough (D – Williston) – NO
Francis McFaun (R – Barre) – YES
Leland Morgan (R – Milton) – YES
Michael Morgan (R - Milton) – YES
Kristi Morris (D – Springfield) – NO
Mary Morrissey (R – Bennington) – ABSENT
Michael Mrowicki (D – Putney) – NO
Emma Mulvaney-Stanak (D - Burlington) - NO
Barbara Murphy (I – Fairfax) – NO
Logan Nicoll (D – Ludlow) – NO
Michael Nigro (D - Bennington) – NO
Robert Norris (R - Sheldon) - YES
Terry Norris (I – Shoreham) – YES
William Notte (D – Rutland) – NO
Daniel Noyes (D – Wolcott) – NO
John O’Brien (D – Tunbridge) – ABSENT
Carol Ode (D – Burlington) – NO
“Woody” Page (R – Newport) – YES
Kelly Pajala (I – Londonderry) – NO
John Palasik (R – Milton) – YES
Joseph Parsons (R – Newbury) – YES
Carolyn Partridge (D – Windham) – NO
Avram Patt (D – Worcester) – ABSENT
Henry Pearl (D - Danville) – NO
Arthur Peterson (R - Clarendon) – YES
Ann Pugh (D – S. Burlington) – NO
Barbara Rachelson (D/P – Burlington) – NO
Marybeth Redmond (D – Essex) – NO
Lucy Rogers (D – Waterville) – NO
Carl Rosenquist (R – Georgia) – YES
Larry Satcowitz (D - Randolph) – NO
Brian Savage (R – Swanton) – YES
Robin Scheu (D – Middlebury) – NO
Heidi Scheuermann (R – Stowe) – ABSENT
Patrick Seymour (R – Sutton) – NO
Charles “Butch” Shaw (R – Pittsford) – YES
Amy Sheldon (D – Middlebury) – NO
Laura Sibilia (I – Dover) – NO
Katherine Sims (D - Craftsbury) – NO
Taylor Small (P/D - Winooski) – NO
Brian Smith (R – Derby) – YES
Harvey Smith (R – New Haven) – YES
Trevor Squirrell (D – Underhill) – NO
Gabrielle Stebbins (D - Burlington) - NO
Thomas Stevens (D – Waterbury) – NO
Vicki Strong (R – Albany) – YES
Linda Joy Sullivan (D – Dorset) – NO
Heather Suprenant (D - Barnard) – NO
Curt Taylor (D – Colchester) – NO
Thomas Terenzini (R – Rutland) – ABSENT
George Till (D – Jericho) – NO
Tristan Toleno (D – Brattleboro) – NO
Casey Toof (R – St. Albans) – YES
Maida Townsend (D – South) – NO
Joseph “Chip” Troiano (D – Stannard) – NO
Tanya Vyhovsky (P/D - Essex) – NO
Tommy Walz (D – Barre) – NO

Kathryn Webb (D – Shelburne) – NO
Kirk White (P/D - Bethel) – NO
Rebecca White (D – Hartford) – NO
Dane Whitman (D - Bennington) – NO
Terri Lynn Williams (R - Granby) – YES
Theresa Wood (D – Waterbury) – NO
David Yacovone (D – Morristown) – NO
Michael Yantachka (D – Charlotte) – NO

These roll call reports are designed to help citizens understand how their elected representatives vote on key issues. The bills may or may not eventually become law. Click on the link to the bill page at the top of this post for an up to date status on the bill.



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