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Ballots being mailed out to all registered Vermont voters

Published: Sep. 21, 2020 at 5:26 PM EDT
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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - It’s off to the races for the November general election. For the first time ever, ballots started going out in the mail on Monday and will be sent to all registered voters in Vermont. Our Calvin Cutler tells you what you need to know to make sure your vote is counted.

To prevent the spread of COVID-19 at the polls, Vermont’s elections will look a lot different this year.

Every registered Vermont voter will be mailed a ballot between now and October 7. That’s just shy of half a million ballots heading out in the mail.

“We recommend that you start sending them back as soon as you get them, as soon as you’re comfortable filling them out,” said Jim Condos, D-Vt. Secretary of State.

Condos says if you don’t receive your ballot by October 7, reach out to your town clerk.

You should send your ballot back no later than October 24 to be sure it arrives in time to be counted on Election Day, November 3.

If you haven’t mailed it by then, you should bring it to your town clerk’s office or to the polls in person on Election Day.

Poll workers will be checking ballots as they arrive in the mail and checking names off the voter checklist to make sure no one votes twice.

“It’s against the law to vote more than once. It’s also a felony and against the law to vote for someone else,” Condos said.

You’ll still be able to vote in person on Election Day. Polls will be open at their normal times and close at 7 p.m. Expect a similar scene as the primaries with limited capacities, social distancing and PPE.

“We’re trying to protect not only Vermont voters but the poll workers' and town clerks' health and safety,” Condos said.

Town clerks will be able to begin processing ballots into vote tabulators a month ahead of time but they won’t actually be counted until the polls close on Election Day.

Because all ballots-- mailed or filled out in person-- must be in the ballot box by 7 p.m. on Election Day, unofficial results in Vermont should be known that night.

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