Mail-in ballot mixups and scandals pile up as Vermont prepares for election season

As the Green Mountain State prepares for widespread mail-in voting this fall, vote-by-mail elections have already led to massive fraud in New Jersey, and Vermont’s system is experiencing early signs of trouble.

Elise Eaton, a former Vermonter who recently moved from Burlington to upstate New York, wants to know why she’s still being asked to vote in Vermont.

She moved in January, and a month later filed paperwork at the Burlington Town Clerk’s office to remove herself from Vermont’s voter checklist.

“I went in there and filled out a form when I was paying my taxes in February,” Eaton told True North in an interview Monday. “At that time, I requested and was given the form, and I filled it out and handed it back to remove my name from the voter rolls.”

Elise Eaton, a new resident of Norwich, N.Y., wants to know why the state of Vermont sent her this card asking her to request an early absentee ballot.

However, this week she received a postcard from the Vermont Secretary of State’s Office informing her that she can request an absentee ballot by mail for the August primary election in Vermont.

Eaton said she’s now a Norwich, N.Y., resident and is registered to vote in that city. She found it troubling to receive an offer to obtain a Vermont ballot when she’s registered to vote in New York State.

“I’m troubled by it, and [troubled] to know that there are a lot of people out there who don’t think there’s any voter fraud whatsoever and don’t have a problem with mail-in or absentee. This just really supports in a very obvious way that something is not right,” she said.

The failure to keep clean voter rolls is not not the only glitch in Vermont’s election system.

Postcards sent this week reminding voters in Eden, Vt., to request absentee ballots from the Eden town office had a return address printed on them directed those mail requests to the town clerk’s office in East Montpelier, about an hour away.

Candace Vear, the town clerk in Eden, told True North she contacted the Secretary of State’s office about the matter, and was told the incorrect address on the card was the result of a printer error. It’s not known how many town residents in Eden received cards with the wrong mail-in address.

Nationally, vote-by-mail elections being advanced to reduce the spread of COVID-19 are opening the door to voter fraud. The city of Paterson, New Jersey, acknowledged a large mail-in vote fraud scandal related to a special election in May. New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal filed voter fraud charges last Thursday against two Paterson city officials accused of running a mail-in ballot scheme. More than 800 ballots, or 20 percent of all ballots, had to be discarded.

On Monday, Vermont Secretary of State Jim Condos issued a commentary explaining that Vermont will continue forward with a plan to mail ballots to every registered voter for the general election. Some of Vermont’s town clerks, however, have said there’s no way to know for certain who signs and sends in mail-in ballots.

St. Johnsbury attorney Deborah Bucknam this week told True North she is bringing a petition with 235 signatures to Gov. Phil Scott, calling on him to veto a bill on his desk that would make way for a mail-in election in November.

“We, individual citizens of Vermont, urge you to veto S.348 because the procedures it authorizes
for our upcoming elections would harm our democratic election system, violate the voting rights
of Vermont’s citizens, and divest you, Vermont’s chief executive, of your authority to faithfully
execute the laws of our state,” the petition states. “Existing election laws are time tested and incorporate significant protections that provide voters who wish to vote from home the right to do so while ensuring the integrity of elections.”

In an email to True North, Condos said his office had not received documentation that Eaton had taken herself off the voter checklist.

“Voter checklist maintenance is done by the local Boards of Civil Authority,” he said. “We have not heard from that voter, so we do not know the specifics of their circumstances.”

Regarding the massive voter fraud in New Jersey, Vermont’s secretary of state said more facts need to come out.

“We can’t comment on a local City Council race Paterson, New Jersey, as we do not have all the details and this is an ongoing investigation, and it is important to not jump to conclusions before the authorities have all the facts,” he said. “For example, saying that “1 in 5 mail-in ballots found to be fraudulent” is another conclusion leapt to without seeing any evidence first.

“Far too often these claims of voter fraud, repeated by journalists and sometimes even the President, fall apart in the end and are proved false,” he added.

According to Condos, the real voter fraud is inhibiting anyone’s ability to vote.

“The true voter fraud is to deny any eligible voter their right to cast a ballot, which is why we cannot take any chances when it comes to our upcoming elections during 2020 with COVID-19 still a very real threat,” he said.

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

Image courtesy of Elise Eaton
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21 thoughts on “Mail-in ballot mixups and scandals pile up as Vermont prepares for election season

  1. My husband received a mail-in ballot and GUESS WHAT.!! He’s been dead 16 yrs. I called that Condo office 10 times till I got a hold of him. I explained to him what came in the mail. He had the nerve to ask me if I knew for sure the person was dead. Well, I lit into him like you wouldn’t believe, few choice words to boot. Told him he was creating voter fraud. He told me that was not true. I asked him if he wanted me to take the ballot to my husband’s grave and have it filled out?? My husband was a good REPUBLICAN. He told me “Don’t be stupid.” told him there was only one person talking and it was him MR VOTER FRAUD CONDO himself.!!!

  2. We may need to challenge every ballot where the signature on file does not match that on the ballot, no signature on file, no vote.

  3. According to Condos, the real voter fraud is inhibiting anyone’s ability to vote. The current voting system doesn’t inhibit anyone’s ability to vote. The saturation mail in vote doesn’t inhibit voter fraud, which weakens the vote power of the legitimate voters. Tragically, members of the Democrat party and democrat voters have shown a marked willingness to resort to illegal and unethical means of achieving their ends and, since the election of Obama, have done so with the fierce determination of the Jacobins, of the Comité de salut public. Watching/listening to Adam Schiff and seeing the support he receives from the Progressives is more than enough to convince a rational individual that they’re a kettle of rabid vultures.

  4. My daughter moved to Florida two years ago and is a Florida resident yet she received a ballot request form. I guess she can vote in Vermont and Florida. My son also got one and so did my wife. This is so ripe for fraud. Goal met Mr. Condo’s.

    • CONDOS, the WISE-one, with blinders, sees nothing wrong, he says, so it is full speed ahead.
      Mail-in FRAUD? In Vermont?
      Never heard of it, he says.
      Rarely happens, he says.

      He must know, because Scott, with a smile, declared him the expert.

      Oops, my dog is wagging his tail.
      What it it?
      My dog says anybody but Condos is the expert.
      Now what?

  5. Just received a postcard from Secretary of State to request a ballot for voting.

    All that is needed is 1) a signature, 2) the last four digits of social security number, or driver’s license number.

    My wife is not allowed to vote, because she is not a US citizen. She did not get a postcard.

    How does the Town Clerk know I am a
    resident of Vermont?
    I could have moved

    How does the Town Clerk know I am still alive?
    I could have died.

    Does every Town Clerk have valid documentation on every voter on the lists.

    What does that documentation consist of?
    Does anyone know?

  6. ……and Vermont’s Legislature refused to make ballot harvesting illegal. Figure!

    • folks wh0 go to the post office, or have boxes there are used to seeing piles of unwanted mass mailings stacked on the table or overflowing the waste basket.
      Not everyone wants a ballot, so those mass mailed ballots too could be filling a waste basket to be harvested by skievy political operatives, to steal a close race.

  7. The Gov is playing this safe for his own sake.

    I have heard he has been informed by those on the left under the Golden Dome that if he signs this bill, he is all but assured another term.
    He knows that if it is left up to a straight election his chances of reelection are very slim.

    Why would the left want to replace him, he does everything they ask of him and the press has a field day with the fact that Vermont has a Republican Gov, yet does everything the left ask of him. They say “Here is a Republican Gov who knows what is good for his people and not afraid to buck the Republican line.

    For Gov Scott it is almost a sure thing he will win again if he signs this bill.

  8. I have been a BCA member for over 25 years and I am currently the chairman of the Morristown BCA. I have 2 questions that no one has been able to answer; 1. How can any BCA certify that a MASS MAILED ballot has been voted by a registered voter in our town? 2. Where is the evidence that anyone has been denied the right to vote or will be unable vote in either the Primary or General election? Please give me a scenario in which a legal voter will be disenfranchised.

    I have asked those questions in online chats which included former and present elected Vermont State officials, BCA members and others and have not received a viable answer. The most often expressed opinion by a responder is that the responder “must have more faith in their fellow man than you do”. My answer is that if an individual wants to show faith in their fellow man by leaving their house unlocked, keys in their car or lending their money to strangers it is their business. The purpose of the BCA is not to “show faith in our fellow man” but to do everything that we can to ensure that the elections are valid, and we cannot ensure their validity with the lack of control over the process caused by mass mailed ballots.

    I keep hearing that “we have mailed ballots successfully for many years without any problems” and agree, but that is because the Town Clerk sends out a ballot to someone who requests it and is known to be on our checklist.

    Our Town Clerk will mail out requested ballots, take ballots to the curb since no one is allowed to enter the municipal building during the pandemic and take ballots to the curb if requested because a voter cannot easily walk into the building even when the building is open. The BCA members will take ballots as requested to homes, nursing homes and hospitals for early voting and on election day. I cannot think of any reason why a voter would not have an opportunity to cast their ballot.

    I also cannot understand why anyone would want to mass mail ballots and inject the opportunity for and possibility of fraud into a system that works so well already.

    It is my understanding that candidates, political parties and other groups are allowed to go door to door to collect or “harvest” votes by offering to take the ballots to the Town Clerk’s office. If the stated reason for mass mailed ballots is to protect people from exposure to C19 it makes absolutely no sense to encourage any number of people to go door to door and risk exposing people who are trying to stay home and have not invited those visitors. It is however, an invitation to spread the virus in a completely new way.

    • Ed,

      Scott seems to have the notion Condos is the expert, and that all is up to him.
      It is like Pontius Pilates washing his hands, saying, let it be up to them to convict and crucify him. We all know how that worked out.

      Condos has not offered to resign, if there is fraud, due to LIVE ballots being sent to people who have moved out of state, or people who have died, or people who do not want to vote.

      There could be about 50,000 of such LIVE ballots in limbo-land, ready to be used by unscrupulous folksiness in voting districts that are close to tied.

      No point playing games in districts that are solidly Dem/Prog.

      Will Town Clerks cross check signatures on ballots with those on file?
      What if no signature is on file? Will the signed ballot be declared invalid?

      It would days and many people to do the cross-checking of all those ballots.

      It looks like a potential Rube Goldberg

    • Agreed. A lady in Indiana had 400 ballots all for democrats … hmm not much fraud there.

      • Our family received a mail-in ballot request form which we trashed because we plan to show up at the polling station. Can’t help but wonder how much this post card program and follow up ballot mailing is costing in terms of the Town Clerks’ time, printing and postage and WHOSE paying for it. You know and I know the tax payers will be stuck with the bill. The entire project is a waste of time and money and will accomplish little. Just another one of too many costly and useless schemes coming out of Montpelier from the Governor’s office down the line. ENOUGH!!!!

  9. Tell me it’s not so, our elected officials stated we should not have any
    concerns, yeah…………..

    Condo’s is just following the party line, win by hook or by crook and our
    Governor wouldn’t veto this nonsense………

    Vermont’s followers in charge, surely not leaders !!

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