By Guy Page
A quartet of Northeast Kingdom Republicans have introduced a bill getting rid of the universal mailed-in ballot.
H23 would “require the Secretary of State’s office to mail general election ballots to active voters only upon request, rather than automatically mailing ballots to all active voters.”
The bill, if approved by the Democrat-majority Legislature, would return mailed-in ballots to the status quo before the pandemic, when voters could request mail-in ballots. Secretary of State Jim Condos proposed, and the Legislature approved, universal mailed ballots in 2021, as a pandemic public safety measure.
Rep. Larry Labor of Morgan is the lead sponsor. Additional sponsors are Rep. Mark Higley of Lowell, Rep. Woodman Page of Newport, and Rep. Brian Smith of Derby.
“It’s a responsibility issue,” co-sponsor Higley said today. People should ask if they want the ballot mailed to them. Mailing addresses change, he added. “There are plenty of ballots out there that go to the wrong people.”
Supporters of the universal mailed ballot say the practice offers greater diversity of choice and has enhanced voter turnout.