Elections > Voters > Voter FAQs > Absentee Voting FAQs

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Absentee Voting FAQs


 

How do I request an early or absentee ballot?

You may request an early or absentee ballot by telephone, fax, email, mail, or in person. You may also request and track the status of an absentee ballot using our My Voter Page online resource.

When you use the My Voter Page, your request will be instantly sent to the clerk, who will need to approve it before issuing you a ballot. Using this resource may significantly reduce the time it takes for your clerk to receive and process your request.

However, under Vermont law, ballot(s) must be physically returned to the town clerk sealed inside the absentee certificate envelope (with the voter’s original signature). You can request that the ballot and certificate for the return envelope be sent to you by email or fax, or you may have it sent by mail. If you have the ballot and certificate sent by email or fax, the clerk will include instructions for you to print and return the ballot and envelopes.

Download or print a Vermont absentee ballot request form here.

A single form may be used to make requests for absentee ballots for local, primary, and general elections during a single calendar year, as long as the “mail to” address is the same for both elections. Please note that a request must be made every election year.

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What if you do not receive your ballot?

If you do not receive your early voter absentee within a reasonable time after your request, you may apply to the town clerk for a duplicate ballot. A sworn statement affirming that you have not received the original ballot or that the ballot was lost must accompany the application.

If a duplicate early voter absentee ballot is issued and both the duplicate and original early voter absentee ballots are received before the close of polls on election day, the ballot with the earlier postmark or received first shall be counted.

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What if you lose your ballot?

If you lose your absentee ballot after you receive it, or you never receive an absentee ballot that was mailed to you, you can sign an affidavit for lost or undelivered absentee ballot and the town clerk will provide you a replacement ballot.

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Are the names of the people who have requested an early voter absentee ballot public record?

Yes. Please contact our office to obtain a list of voters who have requested and/or returned an absentee ballot. They are mailed out on a weekly and then daily basis as the election approaches. Please contact JP Isabelle at jp.isabelle@sec.state.vt.us or 802-828-2304. On Election Day the list must be available in each polling place in the town. If you have any questions about early or absentee voting, please call or visit your town clerk. For further assistance, call the Elections Division at 1-800-439-VOTE.

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Can a voter change his or her mind and vote in person?

A voter who has received an early voter absentee ballot can change his or her mind and vote at the polls on Election Day. To be eligible to do this the voter must bring in the early voter absentee ballot as well as the envelope and any other voting materials received. The presiding officer shall return the unused early voter absentee ballots and envelope to the town clerk, who shall make a record of their return on the list of early or absentee voters and treat them as spoiled or unused ballots. A voter who has returned a voted early voter absentee ballot cannot change his or her mind and vote at the polls. Even if that ballot has not yet been counted, it is considered a voted ballot and cannot be retracted.

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What happens if there are not enough justices of the peace of different parties to deliver early voter absentee ballots to sick or disabled voters on Election Day?

When absentee ballots are delivered by pairs of justices of the peace to voters who cannot come to the polls because of a sickness or disability, those pairs are to be made up of two justices of the peace from different political parties. If there are not enough justices of the peace from different parties to make up the required number of pairs, the remaining pairs may be selected by the board of civil authority from lists of registered voters submitted by the chairs of the town committees of political parties, and from among registered voters who in written application to the board state that they are not affiliated with any political party. See 17 V.S.A. § 2538.

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Can a candidate or his or her spouse who is a justice of the peace deliver ballots on Election Day?

No. No candidate; or spouse, parent, or child of a candidate; shall be eligible to serve as an election official, including delivering ballots, unless the candidate is not in a contested election.

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I am in college in Vermont but want to vote a ballot from my home state. How do I do this?

You should check with the Secretary of State or Elections Board in your home state to find out how to register to vote and/or request an absentee ballot. Most states have all of this information on line. Also, your college registrar should have information for you on registering and voting in your home state.

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Can I vote using the Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot (FWAB) in Vermont?

Federal law states that the Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot (FWAB) can be used only if the voter has applied for an absentee ballot 30 days before the general election and has not received the absentee ballot. In addition, members of the military must be absent from their voting residence. All other voters must be residing outside the United States.

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How long can I remain on the checklist in Vermont?

A voter who has moved from a Vermont town directly to a location that is outside of the United States or who entered the military service directly from living in a Vermont town is entitled to stay on, or be added to, the voter checklist in the last place of residence in Vermont. If a person moves from Vermont to another residence in another state before moving overseas or joining the military, that person must register to vote in the last place of residence.

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Can the spouse or dependent child of a person serving in the armed forces register to vote in Vermont?

If the member of the armed forces resided in Vermont immediately before joining the military, then that person’s spouse and/or dependents can also register or remain registered in Vermont. 17 V.S.A. §2103(20)

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Are individuals removed from the checklist after a set period of time?

Per the purging process set up by federal law, voters who do not vote in two elections (held every two years) and do not respond to a notice sent by the local board of civil authority via first-class mail, may be removed from the checklist. However, 17 V.S.A § 2147 provides that a voter removed from the checklist in error can be added back to the checklist. Once a voter has registered in Vermont, there is no need to re-take the Voter’s Oath, but the registrant will need to indicate where he or she was registered in Vermont previously.

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Is there a specific provision in Vermont law that allows U.S. citizens who never lived in the U.S. to vote in Vermont if one of their U.S. parents last resided in the state?

No, nor is there any provision that specifically prohibits this.

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If I live in Vermont, but my son or daughter resides overseas, can they register to vote in Vermont?

If a person turns 18 years old while residing outside the United States or if a person turns 18 years old before leaving the United States but never registered to vote, then the person can register to vote in Vermont.

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My son or daughter is away at college, can I request an absentee ballot for them?

Yes.

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Contact Information

Elections Division

William Senning, Director

128 State Street

Montpelier, VT 05633-1101

802-828-2363

will.senning@vermont.gov

Admin./General Inquiries

Lori Bjornlund

802-828-2464

lori.bjornlund@vermont.gov

Camp. Finance/Legal/General Inquiries

JP Isabelle

802-828-2304

jp.isabelle@vermont.gov

Lobbying

Elizabeth "Liz" Harrington

802-828-0771

liz.harrington@vermont.gov

Town Clerks/Voter Registration

Lelonie Oatway

802-828-1931

lelonie.oatway@vermont.gov

Mailing Address

Office of the Secretary of State

Elections Division

128 State Street

Montpelier, VT 05633-1101


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