March 9, 2011


Removing Names From Checklist.  (Challenging and Purging the Checklist) Challenging voter names on the checklist is another function of the board of civil authority that may be done at any duly warned meeting.  A review of the checklist may be done at any time. However, systemic purges must be completed at least 90 days before any federal, state or local election. 17 V.S.A. § 2150(b).   

Inquiry. The first step in the purging process is an initial inquiry.  Is there any evidence that the voter is no longer eligible to vote?  BCA members may consider and rely on official and unofficial public records and documents, including telephone directories, city directories, newspapers, death certificates, tax records or checklists showing whether the voter has voted in any election in the last four years. The board may even designate someone to contact the voter personally. 

Sending Voter Notice (Challenge Letter). If there is reason to question eligibility, or if the BCA has been unable to contact the voter, the board should send the voter written notice questioning whether the voter still resides in town. The notice should be sent to the voter's most recent known address, with "return service requested" on the envelope.  A postage paid preaddressed return card or letter must accompany the notice, giving the voter an opportunity to swear to maintaining his or her current legal street address within the town or to consent to removal of the voter's name from the checklist.  17 V.S.A. § 2150(d)(3).  The notice should explain that if the voter fails to return the enclosed response card before the deadline for voter registration for the next election, written sworn affirmation of residence in town will be required before they will be allowed to vote.  Challenge letters can now be printed from the statewide checklist.
See notes from last year, same questions. Summit Notes, March 20, 2010