Condos: Vermonters can’t recall votes and vote again

By Guy Page

There’s no “do-over” allowed for Vermont voters, Secretary of State Jim Condos said Wednesday.

Nationwide, large numbers of voters are asking if they can change their absentee ballot at the polls. Changing votes can’t happen in Vermont, Condos told reporters on a Zoom press conference.

Answering a question by Mike Donoghue of the Islander, Condos said, “Vermont law does not allow you to recast a vote.” Elections Director Will Senning confirmed: “the law is really clear.” New York, Connecticut, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota — the latter three “battleground” states — all allow voters to change their absentee votes at the ballot box.

Guy Page

President Trump tweeted about the “Change My Vote?” trend. It’s a question many voters want answered. An October 27 Cox media report states: “According to Google Trends, the search phrases “can I change my vote in Texas” and “can I change my vote in Florida” were up 250 percent and 200 percent on Tuesday morning. “Change my vote” had the most interest in Arizona, Florida, Idaho, Minnesota and Pennsylvania, according to Google.”

Other election information:

Universal mailed ballot permanent in Vermont? – Responding to Calvin Cutler of WCAX, Condos said he has not yet discussed with the Legislature making universal mailed balloting permanent. “We will work with the Legislature in January,” he said.” A permanent system will only happen “if that’s a change they want to make.” Issues to consider include cost, and “back end” changes in the election process.

“At this time, I am not recommending one way or the other,” Condos said.

No sharpies, please – The Secretary of State prefers that voters use black pens to fill out their ballots. Pencil marks may not be picked up by scanners. And sharpies are verboten because they may bleed through the ballot.

Spoilage rate should be normal, SOS predicts – Most elections have a ballot spoilage rate of about one percent, and that’s what Condos expects for next Tuesday’s general election. The primary had about three percent defective ballots, but the general election total should be near the norm, he said.

Poll watchers need to notify Town Clerk by Friday – campaigns interested in having poll watchers need to inform town/city clerks by Friday, Condos said. An October 26 Secretary of State directive covers this and other issues. To date no parties or campaigns have indicated an interest in sending poll watchers, Condos told press.

Low security to My Voter Page a tradeoff – The Secretary of State’s office has taken measures to prohibit “brute force hacking” that could have exposed to cyberthieves every registered Vermont voter’s name, address, date of birth, drivers’ license number, and at least part of their social security number, Condos said today. As reported in Vermont Daily, earlier this month software engineer Jon Lynch of Colchester informed the SOS that “bots” could access and steal personal information of all Vermont registered voters through the My Voter Page portal. With Lynch’s assistance, new security measures were added.

“We thought we had prohibited it. We now have prohibited it for sure,” Condos claimed today.

SOS wanted to provide ease of access to voter information, Condos explained. To accomplish that, aggressive security measures were not installed. No password is needed, only the last four of the social security number or drivers’ license. “I hate to call it a vulnerabilty because it was a known feature,” Condos said.

Read more of Guy Page’s reports. Vermont Daily is sponsored by True North Media.

Image courtesy of Flickr/justgrimes

2 thoughts on “Condos: Vermonters can’t recall votes and vote again

  1. I think it was wrong and a waste of money to mail everyone a ballot. I did not ask for one so mine became recycled paper. I have always voted in person and will again this year. I take protective measures when I shop, get gasoline and when I go to Church. Voting in person will not be an issue for me. Nancy Pelosi and the feckless, godless liberals in Washington can’t scare me. Voting by mail makes voter fraud easy! MAGA 2020

  2. While here in Vermont you are not supposed to be allowed to change you absentee vote once it has been received by your town clerk – it sounded like it is possible to sweet talk your clerk into handing your ballot back – al least according to Brenda from Montpelier on last week’s Vermont Edition with Bob Kinzel on VPR ! Interestingly, Asst. Secretary of State Chris Winters, who was representing the SoS on the show, did not question or contradict Brenda’s statement !

    Of course in Vermont, it now appears that the Election Laws have become mere suggestions – subject to the whims and fancies of our Secretary Jim !

Comments are closed.