April 21, 2011


Burlington Clerk "inadvertently" sent out a challenge letter that did not comply with the statute, so now Acting CAO City Clerk Schrader says ALL Inactives will be restored to Active status. Inactive/Challenged voters will be required to sign Affirmation of Domicile/Residence (under pain of penalty for perjury) in proposed special election.

In the past, if an Inactive/challenged voter came to vote, by statute they were required to be given an Affirmation of Domicile/Residence form to sign, declaring the address of their legal residence (under pain of penalty for perjury). But our poll workers were not using that form. No ID required, no affirmation of domicile/residence -- just say a name that is on the checklist, and you get a ballot. NEVIS questioned this procedure two years ago, and a newly appointed Board member questioned the Board about it repeatedly in the past year, urging them to read the law and comply with it.

The Sec of State's Office  to 7904 named voters at the address they used to register sometime in the past ~20 years. Some who receive the letter will return the postcard indicating they have moved and want to be taken off the checklist, or still live at the same address. Most will be undeliverable or not returned, and the checklist will be vulnerable to fraud until the cycle of two general election concludes and as long as the Board continues to treat the Affirmation of Domicile/Residence as a bothersome inconvenience!

We need a fresh slate of appointments for the Board for Voter Registration. Members who do not have good attendance, or who have not fulfilled Board responsibilities, need to be replaced. Members were not trained properly, nor did they read the law or avail themselves of training materials available from the Sec of State. Many members were  dismissive, condescending, and/or inexcusably rude to a new member who asked questions, and tried to tell them, for example, that they were not using the Affirmation of Domicile/Residence form as required by statute.

City Council needs to adopt a general practice of  not reappointing old members if there are new applicants, so the boards and commissions are always refreshed. Council needs to infuse the Board with new member. Council must require annual orientation and training by the Sec of State's Office so new members are knowledgeable about the process, policy and procedures; and all members are annually reminded of their responsibilities and informed of changes in policy, procedure, or the statute.