Scott signs bill expanding ballot access, bucking GOP voter restriction trend

Updated: Jun. 8, 2021 at 6:13 PM EDT
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MONTPELIER, Vt. (WCAX) - Every registered Vermont voter next year will be mailed a general election ballot under a new law signed by Governor Phil Scott Monday night.

The practice of sending out ballots was adopted last year to keep voters and poll workers safe from COVID-19. Election officials say sending out general election ballots costs about $2 million. In signing the bill, the Republican governor also said he wants the Legislature to explore expanding vote by mail to local and primary elections as well.

“From my perspective, more people getting to the polls to exercise their right to vote and offering their voice in that respect is important. I think we need to continue to work on this,” Scott said Tuesday.

The new law also includes a provision that allows voters to go back and correct mistakes in their ballots, whether it’s forgetting to sign the envelope or incorrectly filling out the ballot.

In signing the new law, Governor Scott is going against the trend of Georgia, Texas, and other GOP-controlled states which have passed laws restricting voter access.

The governor also signed a measure that tweaks the state’s cannabis marketplace law and a bill that seeks to address the gap between the criminal justice system and mental health system.

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