Vermonters respond: “Should mass mail balloting become permanent?”

Perhaps it was something in the air, but a day after the election, I started to think, I wonder what the chances are of Vermont extending the mail-balloting initiative for 2020 indefinitely?

EAI’s November Survey is the product of that question. A few days later, Governor Scott was already proposing the possibility of mailing ballots for Town Meeting Day, which is set for Tuesday, March 2, 2021. The survey asks a single question “should Vermont mail ballots to all registered voters for every future statewide election, like we did in the 2020 election? (Assuming Covid-19 is under control by 2022).” 55 of you responded so far in just the first week of the survey.

Option 1 is an enthusiastic endorsement of the idea “yes, it worked well for 2020, let's do it for every statewide election!” So far 3 people have endorsed this idea, or 5.5%. Option 2 expresses a cautious optimism, “maybe, ask me in a few weeks. if I don't hear stories about fraud, lost ballots etc., and we get additional safeguards, I'd tentatively support it. Only 2 of the respondents checked this option, or 3.6%.

Option 3 is something of a hallway measure. Rather than mailing ballots to all Vermont addresses, residents would only receive an application for a ballot. 4 people thought this was the most satisfactory option, or 7.3%. Option 4 is the strongest “no” of the choices, which a whopping 42 people chose (76.4%) “You should only be able to vote by mail if you request a ballot weeks ahead of time, without the government prompting you to do so.” 4 people offered another explanation outside the first 4 choices.

You can take the survey HERE.

David Flemming is a policy analyst at the Ethan Allen Institute.


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