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.
State Rep. Samantha Lefebvre, a member of the House Committee on Government Operations, told TNR’s Matthew Strong that election bill S.15 lacks safeguards for mail-in voting that other states use for their vote-by-mail systems.
Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a sweeping election reform bill into law Thursday morning that limits absentee voting, bans ballot harvesting and outlaws private funding for election-related expenses.
The truth is that should S.15 become law, Vermont would have no effective security mechanisms to verify the validity of an absentee ballot. Election officials at the state and local levels admit that they have no way to verify who actually filled out an absentee ballot.
If S.15 passes, Vermont would have the least secure voting system in the country. In this video, reporter Matthew Strong interviews Rob Roper of the Ethan Allen Institute about S.15, the all-mail voting bill, and what it means for Vermont.
The House Committee on Government Operations on Wednesday discussed who should testify on a bill that would make permanent changes to Vermont’s election system — including adoption of a universal vote-by-mail system that sends live ballots to everyone on Vermont’s voter checklist.
Florida, the nation’s third-most populous state, could join scores of other states in enacting election reforms. The proposal, which awaits action in the Florida House of Representatives, is similar to a measure that passed as part of Georgia’s new election law.
Proponents of expanded vote-by-mail say it will increase voter turnout. However, data provided by New Hampshire Secretary of State Bill Gardner doesn’t bear out the claim.