Roper: Town A residents can vote in Town B election? Say it ain’t so!

By Rob Roper, Ethan Allen Institute

The Brattleboro Reformer is reporting a story of potential voter fraud in regard to a vote on the closing of Windham Elementary School. The article states, “A complaint filed by two parents at Windham Elementary School claims three non-residents participated in a controversial vote resulting in the school staying open rather than closing.”

Rob Roper

 The three non-residents — Lisa Beshay, Alex Beshay and Christopher Strecker — are described in the complaint as “political allies” of State Rep. Carolyn Partridge, vice chairwoman of the Windham School Board and member of the Board of Civil Authority. The non-residents all live in the same household in Peru and claim residency in Peru…

On Sept. 7, a vote was held on whether to close and provide school choice for elementary school. The article passed by two votes, then Partridge helped organize a petition for a revote, which occurred Nov. 2 and failed by three votes.

“The defendants have remained on the voter checklist, though being removed from Windham Elementary School due to non-residency, which the School Board was privileged to have access to this information,” the complaint states. Partridge and the Board of Civil Authority “have violated their non-discretionary duties to remove non-residents from the checklist.” (Brattleboro Reformer)

This case has echoes of one from Victory, Vermont, back in 2016 wherein a number of non-residents participated by absentee ballot in an election for Town Clerk which resulted in an invalid outcome. This case was adjudicated and the verdict concluded with 11 “voters” being removed from the checklist. In tiny Victory, this represented 13 percent of all registered voters and the margin of victory in the Town Clerk race.

Even more alarming than the evidence of non-residents voting in – and deciding — local elections is the evidence that our top election officials have either no understanding of Vermont election law or no interest in enforcing it. Another piece in the Reformer notes, “The Vermont Secretary of State tells us that people owning a property in Town A but living in Town B, can vote legally in Town A if they express their intention to reside in Town A in the future.”

This is NOT what Vermont law states! Vermont law defines a legal resident as: “a natural person who isdomiciled [not was or will be] in the State as evidenced by an intent to maintain[not establish] a principal [not secondary] dwelling place in the State indefinitely and to return there when temporarily absent, coupled with an act or acts consistent with that intent.”

Anyone living in Town B, to use the provided example, is not domiciled in Town A district and is not maintaining a principle dwelling place in Town A, and therefore is not legally allowed to vote in Town A. Period. Non-negotiable.

Even beyond that, the reference to returning to such a principle dwelling place (should that be what it really is) if temporarily absent would not be validated by law simply by the expressed intent of the voter, but would need further evidence of “act or acts” to support that intent.

Don’t take my word for it. Judge Thomas Devine of the Vermont Superior Court ruled in the Victory case, “… domiciled requires having residence ‘coupled with an intention of remaining indefinitely,’ and neither residency or intent alone is enough to establish it.”

That the Vermont Secretary of State is giving incorrect instructions about how to enforce Vermont election law — leading to potential election fraud — is unacceptable.

5 replies »

  1. Liberals aren’t about laws, except when it suits their need. Election laws not being one of the latter..If they can argue they’re schizophrenic and are thus able to vote twice or thrice as their particular self-identified schizophrenia maybe, believe me, they will….Or my name isn’t Orville Redenbacher & it could be in today’s world, if I so choose to self-identify it to be…That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

  2. Well Mr Roper,

    You have certainly opened up a REALLY BIG CAN OF WORMS HERE!!

    If Vermont NOW plans to follow the REAL ELECTIONS LAW, following the TRUE DEFINITION of Legal Residence, then ALL of the college students who vote in Vermont will have to be removed from the Town/City Voter Rolls.

    Following the Constitution and REAL ELECTIONS LAW in Vermont, will the Lawless Vermont Legislator half to rescind their Non-Constitutional law passed recently to allow non-citizens to vote in Vermont?

    Maybe we can even end the power grab of our Dictator Vermont Secretary of State and the ineffective/open for fraud, mass mailing of ALL ballots and get back our rightful, local control in our Vermont Towns/Cities?

    Maybe we could also have a REAL AUDIT of the ballots that are counted by the flawed Dominion Tabulator Machines throughout Vermont?

    Solution!!! Let’s find an Honest, Ethical, Honorable, Constitutional, Freedom Loving candidate to run for Vermont Secretary of State and WIN!

  3. Rob, thank you for opening this can of worms. It is important. Colleen Harrington gave an excellent presentation on voter fraud in Vermont at a gathering in Montpelier in October. She has done the yeoman’s job of digging for details – like students who voted in their college town for many years after they move from town.

    Personally, I like the suggestion made then of having ballots printed with serial numbers, like those on money, that can be coded and voters can track how their votes were recorded. This also included plans for a DVD to be kept locally of all the votes cast and a duplicate DVD escorted to the Secretary of State so there is a state and local record of the votes cast.

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