Republican Gov. Phil Scott signed S.15 making universal vote-by-mail permanent for Vermont’s elections going forward, and the reaction on social media has been swift and largely supportive, despite the bill’s lack of security safeguards.
“I believe making sure voting is easy and accessible, and increasing voter participation is important,” Scott said in a statement Monday. He also asked the legislature to expand the bill’s provisions to primary and local elections and school budget votes in order to facilitate higher voter turnout.
With the enactment of S.15, Vermont is now one of the most voter friendly states in the country, while maintaining strong safeguards ensuring the security and integrity of our elections and the results they produce.
Texans opting to vote by mail will have to request an absentee ballot application and provide either their driver’s license number or the last four digits of their social security number. They will have to send that information again once they mail their ballot in order to affirm its validity.
During a forum Tuesday evening, several critics of the Secretary of State’s office took aim at what they describe as a lack of security protocols in Vermont’s current mail-in voting system and also lamented a lack of media coverage on the topic.
While under S.15 voting would be very accessible, it would not be at all secure. We should therefore go back to the drawing board and come up with a plan that actually reflects this goal — truly accessible and secure elections.
The claim that mailing a ballot to every active, registered voter will make our election system less secure is grounded in the same unfounded logic, yet the same trumped up voter fraud fearmongering is being used to try and stop S.15.
Maine lawmakers are considering changes to the state’s election laws aimed at expanding voting by mail options, but the proposal faces opposition from local election clerks who say many of the changes would be cumbersome, costly and in many cases unnecessary.
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 Secretary of State’s office. Those voting no believe absentee ballot security measures are not necessary in Vermont.
Supporters of S.15 and all-mail voting have been arguing that vote-by-mail is a measure to address “voter suppression” and to make voting more equitable. But evidence shows this not only to be a Big Lie, but exactly the opposite of the truth.
S.15 passed in the state House of Representatives on May 11, 2021, by a vote of 119-30. The overriding purpose of this bill is to make permanent the Covid-19 emergency measure of mailing “live” ballots to all active voters on the statewide checklist regardless of request.
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.