March 16, 2011


Burlington election officials are not trained by the Sec of State, they are trained by the Burlington City Clerk's office apparently because our elections are different than elsewhere in the state. How are they different? Is our City Clerk required to follow state election law, for example regarding checklist certification? 

State law requires voter checklist certification before every election. Voters who have not voted are inactive and when sent a form letter with a return post card, they are challenged. People who do not return the postcard have inactive/challenged status on the checklist. The checklist is certified and posted in public places. Inactive/challenged status voters who appear at the polls to vote must sign an Affirmation of Domicile/Residence form affirming that they are a resident at the address on the checklist, or if they have moved they state their current address, under pain of penalty for perjury. If they do not appear and affirm, they are purged from the checklist and archived.

In Burlington, the Board of Voter Registration has the responsibility to register voters, purge the checklist, certify the checklist, and post the checklist before an election. They may also be responsible for administering the Affirmation of Domicile/Residence at the polls. They meet on the first Tuesday of each month. Apparently today they rubber stamp what the City Clerk's Office does or fails to do. Exactly WHO The City Clerk IS? appears to be shadowy, and the challenge/purge law is definitely not being followed. The Sec of State's election office used the word "inadvertently": Burlington City Clerk's Office inadvertently did not send out the challenge letter and postcard. How long has challenge/purge of checklist process been ignored? 


~Sec of State, Elections Division:

~Burlington election ordinances -Title 24, Chapt 3. 

§ 29 Checklist to be prepared and posted

§ 3-14. List of voters to be prepared; posting
Preceding each annual or special city or ward election to be held in said city, it shall be the duty of the board for registration of voters to prepare full and complete lists of the voters in the respective wards of said city, and to certify the same to the chief administrative officer. One copy of such lists shall be posted by or under the direction of the chief administrative officer in some public place in the wards to which the voters whose names are on such list respectively belong, at least twelve days previous to any such election.

J.P. Manual explains the election laws:

p.12: ELECTION RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE [BOARD OF CIVIL AUTHORITY].... f)  Removing Names From the Checklist.  (Challenging and Purging the Checklist) 1.  Timing. 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).