Messy Middlebury voter rolls suggest larger problem, EAI says

Former Middlebury College students now living in Singapore and Egypt voted in the 2020 general election.

by David Flemming

Vermont’s poorly maintained voter lists are placing the integrity of our 2022 election at risk, as newly uncovered evidence from the 2020 election shows.

For this investigation, the Ethan Allen Institute chose the years 2015-19 because there was a good chance that these students had registered to vote in the 2016 and 2018 elections, and upon graduating, we suspected that they may not have been removed from Middlebury’s voter roll. We gathered Middlebury College’s list of graduating students from 2015-19 and a list of all Middlebury citizens who voted in the 2020 election. After cross-referencing these documents, we found eighteen individuals who graduated in this four-year time period who voted in the 2020 election.

David Flemming, Ethan Allen Institute policy analyst

Upon further examination, we discovered that eight of these individuals had voted legally because they had stayed in the Middlebury area after graduation, according to their LinkedIn profiles. But the other ten graduates had left the Middlebury area. Some of them moved across the country, while others returned home to Egypt and Singapore, according to their LinkedIn profiles. While one individual living in California since 2016 was recorded as voting in person in Middlebury, the other nine graduates had absentee ballots mailed in their names.

Five of the nine absentee voters still had their old Middlebury student addresses on file, suggesting that other individuals living near those addresses had mailed in these ballots. The other four absentee voters received ballots at mailing addresses in other states and countries, which could have been mailed in by these graduates or by other individuals at those addresses. Thankfully, these ten votes are not enough to call into question the legitimacy of Middlebury’s 2020 election. However, given the slim margins of some recent Vermont elections, this possibility remains for future elections.

It is important to note that is not a one-off incident. Eleven individuals from Connecticut were struck from Vermont voter rolls in 2018 after they voted in Victory’s 2017 Town Meeting, about 13% of all residents of Victory. And in December 2021, three individuals from the town of Peru tried to vote in a local school election for the town of Windham.

Due to Vermont’s hastily implemented absentee ballot measures in 2020, we will likely never know who cast those nine absentee ballots, or the extent to which mass distribution without signature verification of absentee ballots is problematic. Vermont’s Secretary of State decided our mass absentee balloting experiment (with fewer safeguards that any other state) was a success before the 2020 election concluded, leaving the office unwilling (so far) to look for evidence to the contrary.

The Ethan Allen Institute (EAI) has shared information about these ten individuals to Vermont’s Secretary of State, Attorney General, and Middlebury’s town clerks, while withholding their names from the public to protect their privacy.

We have urged them to be on the lookout for voter irregularities across the state.

Vermont’s electoral security lapses are fixable if steps are taken immediately. Voter rolls in Vermont have not been cleaned in decades. Will they be cleaned and updated in time for absentee ballots to be mailed in September? We encourage our fellow Vermonters to reach out to local and state officials to demand these critical changes. After all, a secure election process earns the confidence of all citizens and forms the bedrock of a stable democracy.

Editor’s note: after EAI published its report, state and local officials told WCAX their investigations show there was no known irrregular voting. But when reporter Calvin Cutler asked VT Secretary of State, “What is stopping somebody from filling out their neighbor’s ballot and sending it in?,” Condos answered, “Nothing.”

“But they have to sign that ballot,” Condos added. “We know where that ballot went so we would be able to have an investigation and follow up on it, find out what happened.”

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14 replies »

  1. Then : The Vermont Lefticle News Media finds out and denies it ever happened including Jim Condos, who ranks anyone who disagrees with him on election irregularities or COVID statements as Conspiracy Nuts.

  2. I agree whole heartedly with the other respondents. There is zero incentive for our leftist legislators to do anything about illegal votes in Vermont.

  3. Condos has been co-opted, and he’ll have to prove otherwise in order to refute that statement. Full accountability, full transparency, full investigation.
    If he covers up for fraudulent election practices, he is guilty of collusion.
    Beyond that, how could any of this happen WITHOUT his knowledge?
    Election officials at a local level constantly look up the ladder for confirmation and direction they are doing it correctly – because they believe in free and open elections, one vote, one person.
    With the tabulators, which measure a PORTION OF THE WHOLE, NOT actual votes, trust in the vendor is the inherent ‘innocence’ in the fox in charge of the henhouse is a HUGE red flag, and upon that basis Condos’s trust rests.
    The rest of us… as the comments above say… are, in his eyes, gaslighted and even bullied for asking the question.
    When the Sec. of State or his representative writes in response to a FOIA, labeling me a ‘conspiracy theorist’…for using the FOIA system and asking the question (which yielded confirmation of at least that attitude even in situ amongst themselves), that is hugely telling that this man has been co-opted and no longer works for The People of Vermont.

    Exit fast! And he is.
    Vermont is NOT the exception to the corruption.
    Its been the MODEL all along… try it here, see if it flies and goes under the radar… and if it does…then apply it elsewhere.
    The 2016 elections are just as much in question as the 2020 elections and all interim elections as well.

    This ALL needs to be opened up and examined deeply.
    Thank you EAI – good work!

  4. No Voting Machines, No Mail-In Voting (exception for authorized-only with identification and signature by the person who is asking to vote, i.e. military and absentee ballots), No Drop Boxes, No Early Voting, Assigned Poll Voting Places to Vote, Only U.S. Citizens showing proof of Identification and verification of residence with Photo, One-Day Election Day, No Computerized Anything, includes Voter Rolls, All Paper Ballots printed with identifiable watermarks, etc. Hand Counting of All Ballots in a secure, live feed video-taped format with public watching, Independents, Republicans and Democrats, etc. present and/or viewing. The People Must Rule – Not Evil Marxist Regimes!

  5. Here are the Ten Points to True Election Integrity:
    I.               Clean Out the Voter Rolls
    II.              Ban All Electronic Elections Equipment
    III.            Voter ID with Paper Ballots Only
    IV.            Ban Mail-In Voting*
    V.             Ban Early Voting*
    VI.            Drastically Smaller Precincts*
    VII.          Ban Ballot Harvesting
    VIII.         Election Day is a Holiday
    IX.            New Reporting Requirements for Transparency
    X.              Heavy Prison Sentences for All Who Commit Fraud

    Seth Keshel.

  6. First, we replied to the Meg Hansen and David Flemming in less than 24 hours from her initial email to my office.

    Despite what you read here, we do share the concern that VT’s voter checklist should always be as up-to-date as possible. And I can say that VT’s voter registration checklist is more accurate today than it was yesterday, last month, last year or in the last decade.

    That being said, David Flemming and Meg Hansen clearly show a lack of understanding of how VT and Federal laws work with regard to voter registration and the maintenance of the voter checklist. In fact, it appears this was promoted as a public relations piece in support of the “Big Lie”.

    Misinformation is very dangerous and since 2020, a threat to our democracy.

    The VT Secretary of State does not have the authority to add or remove names to or from the voter checklist. Under Vermont law, those actions are the responsibility of the local town clerk and Board of Civil Authority.

    Additions to the checklist are governed by 17 VSA 2144b. Generally, the clerk is empowered to add the names of applicants who submit a registration with the required information. If the clerk has questions about the information or cannot determine the person’s eligibility, he or she may forward the application to the BCA for their review and action.

    Removal of names from the checklist is also governed by 17 VSA 2150. If you choose to read this section carefully you will gain a better understanding of the process for removing names.

    In particular, subsection (d) describes the process for removing a name if the board believes the person no longer resides in the town. Before doing so, the Board is required to send the voter a notice at their last known address, requesting that the voter confirm they no longer live in the town, or alternatively to state that they do in fact still reside there. If the voter does not respond to the notice, the Board is required to wait until two General Elections have passed since the time of the notice, before removing the voter’s name. If a voter that has been sent a notice shows up to vote, or requests an absentee ballot, they are required to affirm their residency by signing an affidavit before they are allowed to cast a ballot.

    This process (providing notice and an opportunity for response before removing the name of a voter that the Board believes no longer resides in town) is required by Federal Law, and is therefore the law in every state. You can find the federal law at 52 USC 20507(d).

    Any person or entity, such as the EAI, is free to provide names of voters to the clerk or local BCA that they believe no longer reside in the town, as they have done. The BCA can consider these names and decide as a board whether or not a notice letter should be sent to the individuals identified.

    I would also like to point out that, under state and federal law, voters who are on active duty in the military OR living overseas may remain registered and vote in the last place they resided in the United States. This is also true in Vermont for persons confined in a correctional institution (they may remain registered and vote in their last place of residence before being incarcerated). See 17 VSA 2122(a).

    It is for reasons like this that it is not always as easy as finding that someone no longer resides in town and therefore assuming their name should be removed. It is this careful consideration of each individual instance that occurs when the BCA decides, as a group, whether or not to send a notice letter to any particular individual.

    Mr. Flemming’s statement that “Voter rolls in Vermont have not been cleaned in decades” is simply not accurate, and frankly misinformed. It is this kind of hyperbole that is causing undue mistrust of our elections. Boards of Civil Authority throughout the state are engaging in the process described above on an ongoing basis. By law, they are required to perform a name-by-name review of the voter checklist every two years. See 17 VSA 2150(c).

    Pursuant to this provision, the answer to the question of whether the voters rolls will be “cleaned and updated” prior to the 2022 election is yes – they are being updated all of the time on an ongoing basis and have been updated on an almost daily basis.

    By making statements like “Voter rolls in Vermont have not been cleaned in decades”, you are doing a disservice to the hard work of all of the Vermonters who serve on these volunteer BCAs and take the work they do very seriously.

    In addition, Automatic Voter Registration (AVR) provides a daily update of any changes to driver’s licenses that are then forwarded to the Town Clerks – this could include address, and or name changes.

    We did follow up with the clerk in Middlebury to provide any assistance or guidance with the processing of the information you provided, as necessary. Ultimately, by law, it will be up to the BCA in Middlebury to determine whether or not to send a notice letter to the individuals you have identified and initiate the process of removing their name, or receiving confirmation they are still eligible to vote in Middlebury.

    • “Misinformation is very dangerous and since 2020, a threat to our democracy.” The DNC/CCP talking point parotted by every MSM outlet across the nation. Nice word salad there Jim! Yet, when Killary Clinton said it 2016, the next four years all we heard from DNC/CCP is “he’s an illegitimate President!” We certainly have one now thanks to corrupted Secretary of State’s such a Katie Hobbs, Brad Raffensperger, Jocelyn Benson, Jena Griswold and you, Jim Condos. Please take your ill-gotten compensation for your dirty deeds and I pray God’s wrath delivers the justice for your criminal conduct.

    • This politician’s trick is to “baffle is with BS” when he can’t “blind us with science”

      The laws that complicate the process of keeping accurate and up to date voter rolls are understandable when the vast majority of ballots are issued only at the voting station.
      You changed the system, however. You blanketed Vermont with ballots to every name on the register with the full knowledge that some meaningful number of those ballots were issued to individuals who were not eligible to vote.

      You also instituted rules that made it next to impossible to verify if ballots were authentic. You encouraged fraud.

      I do not accuse you of committing fraud. I do accuse you of undermining trust in our elections because you have made them easy to rig and difficult to audit. For that you should be ashamed.

      Your reply that “misinformation undermines democracy” is merely an attempt to silence those who want every legal vote to mean something.

  7. I got suspicious of a recent Vermont election when I saw an announcement on local news of a local law school being called in to help with the election. Not Yale Law School but…..

  8. One vote, one person. Period.
    Its really simple to restore trust in our elections without all the folderol.
    In the name of democracy.

  9. I received two extra ballots in the mail from former live in partners who both moved out of state. I called the town clerk and was informed that voter rolls are only purged after 10 years of not voting. I could have simply sent them in if I was so inclined, with no checks or verification in the slightest. I can only imagine how many extra ballots get mailed out to the transient college populations in Burlington and Middlebury, and how many get fraudulently returned for votes. This was described as statistically significant in many of the state legislative hearings concerning the potential for fraud in the 2020 elections. The people responsible are perfectly aware of it, and most nations ban the practice.

    • Just a side note: at least one of these individuals moved out of state about 9 years ago, and there have been two general elections since then. I still received a ballot for that person this Spring for Town Meeting day. Won’t be shocked to see another this Fall. But it doesn’t matter how many years, or elections there are before the voter rolls are cleared. There shouldn’t be ANY ballots being default mailed out or without clear tracking & accountability, PERIOD.

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