House approves overhaul of election system featuring more mail-in ballots

The House gave preliminary approval on Tuesday to a bill that would make universal vote-by-mail a permanent feature of Vermont’s election system.

By a vote of 119-30, representatives approved a major election overhaul that would allow the state to send live mail-in ballots to all active voters on Vermont’s statewide checklist without any requests. The bill, S.15, passed without any election security features common in other states, such as signature verification.

During Tuesday’s morning session, Rep. Sarah Copeland-Hanzas, D-Bradford, chair of the House Government Operations Committee, introduced the bill.

“Many Vermonters, and my neighbors among them, began to ask why don’t we mail ballots in every November election?” she said.

Wikimedia Commons/Public domain

WILL IN-PERSON VOTING SURVIVE?: Vermonters are increasingly being encouraged to vote by mail, while critics say it all but eliminates election security.

Copeland-Hanzas said 2020 saw record voter turnout for Vermont as 75 percent of ballots cast in the general election were submitted by mail.

“While many states are backpedaling on the voter enfranchisement, convenience and safety measures they’ve adopted during the pandemic, Vermont is moving forward,” she said.

States increasing election security in recent months include, among others, Florida and Georgia, Texas, Tennessee, Montana, Ohio and Iowa. New changes to enhance ballot security include voter ID and signature match for absentee ballots, prohibition on universal vote-by mail, use of security paper and watermarks, restrictions on mail-in ballot box locations, and more.

Copeland-Hanzas said Vermont would not be requiring the use of signature matching data because, she claimed, BIPOC individuals were in some way prevented from voting if signatures are required.

“We also saw data that signature data negatively impact BIPOC communities,” she said. “And so for that reason, we’ve asked they report back to include some ideas on other voter verification systems.”

Lawmakers passed two related amendments for the bill, including a request for $800,000 to help finance the change to universal vote-by-mail, and a clarification of procedures for town clerks to fix defective ballots.

One amendment lawmakers rejected attempted to require mail-in balloting for local elections that use Australian ballot voting.

“I would like to expand this to our local and Town Meeting Day elections in March, only for communities that are voting using Australian ballots,” Rep. Casey Toof, R-St. Albans Town, said.  ” … I appreciate the push for mail-in voting for the general election, but where we don’t see the most turnout is in our local elections and school elections.”

Rep. Barbara Murphy, I-Fairfax, noted that a company hired by the Secretary of State’s office to handle sending out special postcards to all registered voters last summer made numerous errors, causing town clerk lots of extra work.

“I think as we’re looking at the additions to this bill, where we’re making reasonable efforts for the checklist data to be correct, that someone who’s been hired to do mailings can make alterations is disturbing — and I just wondered if you heard anything on that?”

Rep. Pattie McCoy, R-Poultney, the House minority leader, shared a concern about Vermonters being allowed to carry around up to 25 ballots at once to a drop-off location.

“I’m not quite sure how many people are dropping off 25 ballots in a ballot box, how does one know who if you are limiting it to 25 ballots for a person to drop off, how does one know that they are not doing it on a weekly basis?” she said. “I find it kind of odd that we are allowing people to deposit ballots in a ballot box and they can do it daily, and yet we have a limit on how many they can — and I absolutely disagree with a limit of 25, and what we heard in committee is that most states allow for up to 10.”

Rep. Brian Smith, R-Fairfax, said the committee should have taken testimony from more town clerks on S. 15.

“I’ve spoken to a few that are very opposed to S.15,” he said. “And they are the people who do all the work for these elections, they follow up to make sure everything is done correctly and properly. I feel that more testimony should have been taken from town clerks, I can’t support the bill.”

Michael Bielawski is a reporter for True North. Send him news tips at bielawski82@yahoo.com and follow him on Twitter @TrueNorthMikeB.

Images courtesy of USPS and Wikimedia Commons/Public domain
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6 thoughts on “House approves overhaul of election system featuring more mail-in ballots

  1. Inexplicable that our leadership is so naïve, irresponsible and frankly intentionally corrupt. It’s shameful.

  2. We have already learned via FOYA that the 5 major cities in Wisconsin were colluding with an external liberal pro-democrat 3rd party to report all the addresses of those who voted prior to the election. This is been proven as fact. You think it wasn’t happening in other states too? This is such a obvious attempt to undermine our election system, it is frankly insane that this is even being allowed to be brought to the floor.
    If anything we need to do the opposite and pass laws to would prohibit any voting machine/data to be connected to the internet and require a voter ID, just like Canada and nearly every other country in the world. It’s like we are living in the twilight zone. People better wake up soon or these are going to lose their State.

  3. Not sure why we need this bill, as we already have mail-in ballots, all you have to do
    is request one ??

    So why this ” Publisher Clearing House “style of flooding the state with ballots, and why
    is this needed, unless you want more ballots than registered voters, smells a little fishy
    to me …….

    So how do you win an election ” by hook or by rook ” and that’s what S.15 is all about,
    those who voted for this boondoggle, we need to make sure they get voted out !!

    Wake up people, look at the condition the state is in, it speaks a ton on what those in
    charge are willing to do for an agenda.

    • CHenry, you hit the head right on the nail !!

      The left knows they can only win but mail-in ballots and rigged machines. So that’s why S-15. They got to make this look official.

      That’s why the fishy smell.. All come from the Condom office I mean the Condo office and the legislation.

      I will NEVER EVER vote by mail. I will go to the polling place and cast my vote and it will not be by pencil it will be a pen. !!!

      Yes, we need to VOTE OUT these fools from out of state who moved here to ruin our once-great state. !!! I know people who moved here to enjoy Vermont not change it..

      • Henry and Donna

        Universal mail-in of ballots is one issue, the COUNTING, usually performed by Dem/Prog operatives in Dem-controlled cities, is quite another issue.

        Here is an example from New Hampshire

        NEW HAMPSHIRE; An Urgent Job for the New Hampshire Legislature

        Ensuring fraud-free elections should be a prime concern of all voters, and Attorney General Donovan, and Condos.

        Voter ID, with photo, should be an absolute minimum to ensure the person showing up to vote is indeed that person.

        Voter signatures should be on file with Town Clerks for each registered voter

        Voter ID, with photo, should be required for ALL mail-in ballots, plus each mail-in ballot ENVELOPE must be signed, and dated, by the absentee voter.

        Airlines require photo IDs to get on a plane, plus a passport with photo, for international flights.
        It would be dereliction of duty for Vermont not to require proper IDs.

        COUNTING

        However, the COUNTING of the votes is even more important.
        If that counting takes place in Dem/Prog controlled counting centers, staffed by Dem/Prog counters/operatives, all sorts of “election results” can be fabricated, as was shown in New Hampshire in 2020.

        NEW HAMPSHIRE; An Urgent Job for the New Hampshire Legislature

        NH has a perfect opportunity to immediately revise NH voting laws.
        Strictly regulate the circumstances and methods of COUNTING the votes.
        None of the counting machines should be programmable by insiders and outsiders
        None should be connectable to the internet and other computers by means of LANs.
        None should have an insertable, programmable electronic card
        Abolish almost all absentee voting, except for special cases.
        Do not allow out-of-state students to register and vote. They would not be “deprived”, because they can, and should, vote in their own state.

        NOTE: The Legislature of New Hampshire became Republican, because the “activist student vote” was absent. They likely also voted in their own states. After all, every vote counts!

        Example of MAJOR COUNTING AND BALLOT BOX STUFFING Fraud in New Hampshire
        https://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/state-and-local-election-reforms-are-long-overdue

        NOTE: If such COUNTING AND BALLOT BOX STUFFING frauds go on in New Hampshire, they would not happen in Vermont?

        The hand recount of the Windham (Rockingham District 7) New Hampshire House 2020 race revealed Dominion election counting machines undercounted all four Republicans by about 300 votes. Gee, how is this possible?

        This was no a trivial matter. The difference was 1,363 votes out of 10,006 vote cast, 13.63%

        A forensic audit will determine the huge discrepancy between the election day results and subsequent recount of Windham’s November 3, 2020, State Rep. race where a difference of 1,363 total votes from just 10,006 ballots was uncovered.
        https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2021/04/update-new-hampshire-house-passes-sb43-mandate-audit-windhams-disturbing-2020-election-results/

        The Reveal of the COUNTING Fraud

        This fraud was revealed, because St. Laurent, Democrat, who lost by 24 votes, challenged the count, and got a recount.
        Soti, Republican, recovered the 297 votes falsely taken from him by sneaky Dem/Prog vote COUNTERS
        St. Laurent, had to give back 99 votes falsely attributed to him by sneaky Dem/Prog vote COUNTERS
        As a result, instead of losing by 24 votes, St. Laurent ended up losing by 420 votes!!! Yikes!!

        St. Laurent must not be glad he asked for a recount, because the recount of the votes of the other 3 Republicans showed each of them had been screwed out of about 300 votes as well, thanks to sneaky Dem/Prog COUNTING shenanigans.

        The thinking of the Dem/Progs must have been: “Heh, this is a close race. Maybe we can flip it”.

        Dem/Progs vote COUNTERS were:

        1) Holding back votes so they would not be counted in a timely manner, and/or
        2) Rigged the vote counting machines. See URL
        https://granitegrok.com/mg_windham/2020/11/recount-in-windham-rock-dist-7-machine-shorted-every-republican-by-about-300-votes

        FRAUD No. 1
        Soti, Republican, before recount 4480 votes, after recount 4777 votes, gain 297 votes
        St. Laurent, before recount 4456, after recount 4357, a LOSS of 99 votes
        Margin, before recount 24, after recount 420.

        FRAUD No. 2
        Griffin, Republican, before recount 5292, after recount 5591 votes, gain 299 votes
        Azibert, Democrat, before recount 2787 votes, after recount 2808 votes, gain 28 votes
        Margin, before recount 2505 votes, after recount 2783 votes

        FRAUD NO. 3
        Lyon, Republican, before recount 4786 votes, after recount 5039 votes, gain 303 votes
        Roman, Democrat, before recount 3415 votes, after recount 3443 votes, gain 28 votes
        Margin, before recount 1371 votes, after recount 1646 votes

        FRAUD No. 4
        McMahon, Republican, before recount 5256 votes, after recount 5554 votes, gain 298 votes
        Singueau, Democrat, before recount 2764 votes, after recount 2782 votes, gain 18 votes
        Margin, before recount 2492 votes, after recount 2772 votes

        Candidate Party Machine count Hand count Gain Loss
        Soti Rep 4,480 4,777 297
        St. Laurent Dem 4,456 4,357 99
        Margin 24 420

        Griffin Rep 5,292 5,591 299
        Azibert Dem 2,787 2,808 21
        Margin 2,505 2,783

        Lynn Rep 4,786 5,089 303
        Roman Dem 3,415 3,443 28
        Margin 1,371 1,646

        McMahon Rep 5,256 5,554 298
        Singureanu Dem 2,764 2,782 18
        Margin 2,492 2,772

        New Hampshire Eection Results are even more Incredible

        – Republicans flipped the New Hampshire Senate from 14 D and 10 R to 10 D and 14 R, in 2020; a Republican gain of 4 seats
        – Republicans flipped the New Hampshire House from 230 D and 156 R to 187 D and 199 R, in 2020; a huge Republican gain of 43 seats!!
        – Yet, Joe Biden, who was 4th in Democrat primary, and Kamala Harris, who did not make it to the Democrat primary, won the state 52.7 to 45.4 to Trump.

        NOTE:
        Dominion Counting machines are used in 85% of New Hampshire towns.
        Dominion Voting Systems owns the intellectual property of the AccuVote machines used in New Hampshire.

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