April 6, 2011


7,904 challenged/inactive voters [have been?] [will be?] returned to active status on the checklist because the city did not send out the correct letter to registrants who have not voted in recent elections. Error discovered when Linda Chagnon read the election law and noticed that clerks were not using an "Affirmation of Domicile/Residence" form at the polls, and she asked the board for clarification on this procedure. She also went to the Acting City Clerk, who said he would assure compliance. The form is mandated by statute, to be used when a person who hasn't voted recently, and hasn't responded to the challenge letter asking them to confirm that they live in Burlington, appears at the polls to vote.

Concluded: The city did not follow the statutory process in challenging inactive voters on the checklist. "Therefore all challenges brought against voters most likely will not withstand a legal challenged [sic] and, as such, on advice from the City Attorney's Office and the Secretary of State's Office should be rescinded." [Scott Schrader, Acting City Clerk, April 5, 2011]

Proposed: "...to re-initiate the process of attempting to determine, with certainty, the true status of the voter's residence and therefore, their voting eligibility. In addition...board adopt a policy and procedure that provides for a systematic process of regularly challenging voters on the City's checklist..." [Scott Schrader, Acting City Clerk. April 5, 2011]

Serious questions remain about other violations, such as the board cursorily approving incomplete registrations or signing off on registrations after information has been added in the clerk's office to complete a registration form.