Elections

Vermont more lenient about drop box video, ballot harvesting than states in ‘2000 Mules’

By Guy Page

Vermonters concerned about reports of ballot harvesting fraud in other states wonder, “could it happen here?”

There are no known substantiated allegations of illegal ballot harvesting in Vermont. As reported last week in Vermont Daily Chronicle, the elements needed for the type of ballot fraud portrayed in the Dinesh D’Souza documentary 2000 Mules already exist in Vermont: universal mailed ballots and outdoor ballot collection drop boxes. 

In fact, Vermont is more lenient about ballot harvesting and drop box depositing and requires less video surveillance than some states seen in 2000 Mules. Some states require drop box video surveillance, prohibit ballot gathering to an individual’s family members, and impose strict limits on how many ballots can be deposited at a single time. None of those restrictions are true in Vermont. 

According to S15, a 2021 update of the 2020 “pandemic election law,” one person may collect and deposit up to 25 ballots at a single time into a ballot drop box. Anyone – including not-for-profit groups – may collect and deposit ballots, except candidates and campaign workers. 

The law says this ballot drop box must “be under 24-hour video surveillance, or in the alternative be within sight of the municipal building.” It is not known how many of the 200 Vermont municipalities employing drop boxes employ video surveillance, or instead took the cheaper route of installing the box “within sight of the municipal building.”

It is likely that many of Vermont’s municipal ballot drop boxes were purchased with financial assistance from Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg’s Center for Tech and Civic Life. According to CTCL data, 112 Vermont municipalities received funding (averaging about $5000) to assist with the challenges of conducting an election during a pandemic and universal mailed ballots. Of these 112 towns, 102 also employed drop boxes during the 2020 general election, according to Vermont Daily Chronicle’s graph (see below) of publicly-available VPIRG and CTCL data. 

The entirety of the drop box section of the 2021 universal mailed ballot law may be read here (pg. 16) or seen below:

PROVISION OF SECURE BALLOT DROP BOXES

(a) A board of civil authority may vote to install one or more secure outdoor ballot drop boxes (drop boxes) for the return of voted ballots. 

(b) Drop boxes shall be located on municipal property. If a town has only one drop box, it shall be located on the property of the municipal clerk’s office. 

(c) Drop boxes shall allow for the return of ballots by voters at any time of day and must be available for the return of ballots not later than 43 days before the election. 

(d) Drop boxes shall be installed and maintained in accordance with guidance issued by the Secretary of State’s office. 

At a minimum, drop boxes shall: 

(1) be affixed to a foundation or other immovable object such that they cannot be removed without being tampered with; 

(2) be under 24-hour video surveillance or in the alternative be within sight of the municipal building

(3) be constructed in such a manner that it is impossible to remove the ballots without the ballot box being tampered with; and 

(4) be able to be closed such that ballots may not be deposited once the deadline for deposit has passed. 

(e) (1) Ballots may be deposited in the drop boxes until the close of business on the day before the election. At the close of business, the drop box shall be closed and instructions affixed to the drop box instructing the voter to return the voter’s voted ballot to the polling place on the day of the election. 

(2) Notwithstanding subdivision (1) of this subsection, a board of civil authority may vote to allow ballots to be deposited in the drop boxes until not later than the closing of the polls on election day. 

(f) The Secretary of State’s office shall provide drop boxes to a town or city upon request following a vote of the board of civil authority. The maximum number of drop boxes that the Secretary of State’s office shall provide in any town or city shall be as follows: 

(1) up to 5,000 registered voters, one; 

(2) between 5,000 and 10,000 registered voters, two; 

(3) between 10,000 and 15,000 registered voters, three; 

(4) between 15,000 and 20,000 registered voters, four; and 

(5) over 20,000 registered voters, five. 

(6) A town or city may have a number of secure drop boxes equal to the number of representative districts in that town or city, with one drop box located in each district, if that number is greater than the number allowed based on that town or city’s number of registered voters.

Municipalities with ballot dropboxesMunicipalities with ballot dropboxes also receiving Zuckerberg fundingMunicipalities receiving Zuckerberg funding but having no dropboxes
AddisonClarendon
AlbanyFayston
AlburghHartland
AndoveryHolland
ArlingtonJamaica
BaltimoreMt. Tabor
BarnetSouth Hero
Barre CityyStamford
Barre TownyStockbridge
BartonTownshend
Belvidere
Benningtony
Benson
Berkshire
Bethel
Bloomfield
Bolton
Bradford
Braintreey
Brandony
Brattleboroy
Bridgewatery
Bridport
Bristoly
Brookliney
Brownington
Burke
Burlingtony
Caboty
Calais
Cambridgey
Canaan
Castletony
Charleston
Charlotte
Chelseay
Chester
Chittendeny
Colchestery
Concord
Corinth
Cornwall
Coventryy
Danbyy
Danville
Derbyy
Dorset
Dovery
Dummerstony
Duxburyy
East Montpeliery
Eden
Elmore
Enosburgh
Essex
Fair Haveny
Fairfaxy
Fairleey
Ferrisburgh
Fletchery
Frankliny
Georgiay
Glover
Gosheny
Graftony
Granby
Grand Isle
Greensboro
Grotony
Guildhall
Hancock
Hardwick
Hartford
Hinesburg
Hollandy
Hubbardton
Huntingtony
Hyde Parky
Iray
Irasburgy
Isle La Motte
Jayy
Jericho
Johnson
Killington
Kirby
Landgrove
Leicestery
Lincoln
Londonderry
Lowelly
Ludlow
Lunenburg
Lyndony
Maidstoney
Manchestery
Marlboroy
Marshfieldy
Mendony
Middleburyy
Middlesex
Miltony
Monkton
Montgomery
Montpeliery
Moretowny
Morgan
Morristowny
Mount Holly
New Haveny
Newbury
Newfaney
Newport Towny
North Heroy
Northfield
Nortony
Norwich
Orangey
Orwell
Panton
Pawlety
Peacham
Peru
Pittsfield
Pittsfordy
Plainfieldy
Pomfrety
PreviousNext
PreviousNext
Proctor
Putneyy
Randolph
Readingy
Readsboroy
Richford
Richmondy
Riptony
Rochestery
Rockinghamy
Roxburyy
Royaltony
Rupert
Rutland Cityy
Rutland Town
Saint Albans Cityy
Saint Albans Towny
Saint Johnsburyy
Salisbury
Sandgate
Shaftsburyy
Sharon
Shelburney
Sheldony
Shorehamy
Showing 1 to 100 of 246 entries
Showing 101 to 200 of 246 entries
Shrewsbury
South Burlingtony
Springfield
Starksboro
Stowe
Strafford
Stratton
Sunderland
SuttonY
Swanton
Thetfordy
Tinmouthy
Town
Town
Troyy
Tunbridge
Underihill
Vernony
Waitsfieldy
Waldeny
Wallingfordy
Waltham
Warren
Washington
Waterburyy
Waterville
Weathersfield
Wellsy
West Fairlee
West Haven
West Rutland
West Windsor
Westfieldy
Westfordy
Westminstery
Westmore
Weybridge
Whitingy
Whitingham
Williamstown
Willistony
Wilmingtony
Windham
Windsor
Winhall
Winooski
Wolcotty
Woodburyy
Woodfordy
Worcester

Categories: Elections

9 replies »

  1. how was this money dispersed? I’m having trouble with the concept of “jo,jill,other citizen” paying for this…??? isn’t this unethical to accept money from said citizen for purpose of “voting”…..pandemic or no……I’m not for or against…where the money comes from is rubbing me the wrong way……

  2. Re: “…(2) be under 24-hour video surveillance or in the alternative be within sight of the municipal building;”

    Being ‘within sight of the municipal building’ is one of those deceptive play-on-words too common in most legislation. After all, without surveillance, ‘Municipal Buildings’ can’t see anything wherever the drop box is located.

    And, in my town, when I asked our town clerk if there was signature verification on mailed-in ballot envelopes, the answer was ‘no’.

    And when I asked if someone could fraudulently sign a ballot envelope that arrived in a drop box unsigned (because there were no surveillance cameras), the town clerk took the question as an insult… which was, of course, an indirect way of saying that ballot envelopes could be fraudulently signed without being detected.

    And my town received more than $2 in ‘Zuckerbucks’ for every registered voter, ostensibly to provide assistance in the mail-in ballot process. No, it wasn’t illegal. But it was unethical.

    And, God-forbid, we insult “…our hard working and dedicated Board of Civil Authority” … by asking whether or not they can catch people who might cheat. Especially when they can’t.

    If town clerks, boards of civil authority and poll-workers want respect, it’s time for them to earn it.

    • Agreed………but what has trickled down is the “status quo” from on-high, which dictates……make it happen no matter what…….

  3. I guess it all comes down to whether or not we can invest credibility in the voting process. Have we been convinced that it’s integrity is intact or do we continue to find it suspect? If the latter, what’s it going to take to restore our confidence?

  4. The real problem is that there is no way to guarantee any integrity in the election. The rules don’t allow for it.

    -Mail in without signature: No Verification at all. Anyone could have filled it out and mailed it in, or dropped it in the box, they are allowed to do it for anyone.

    -Just show up and give your name to vote: No Verification at all. Anyone could be that person.

    -Contest the election: Can only be done for 10 days after the election.

    -Count the ballots – can only do so 90 days after a local election and 22 months after a federal election unless contested in the first 10 days, however recounts in the 10 day period can only be done by the same BCA that counted them in the first place and will only be run back through machines.

    -Machines: These are not managed by anyone in VT. No one in VT knows how they are even setup.

    -Voter rolls: These are managed by the town clerk in each town. Most are bloated by 5% or more some towns 25%. Very few towns are actually cleaning their rolls, and anyone on that roll can be a vote. Statewide 22,000 on the voter rolls haven’t voted since at least 2006.

    -Tabulators are run off of a memory card. This memory card is shipped back to LHS and is never checked. They are immediately erased and in my opinion is illegal as you can’t count the whole election without the programming on that card without manually counting them (see above about how you “CAN’T” do that).

    There is literally no security in Vermont’s elections. Very little verification if any. The concept that they go back and do a recount at some location in the state isn’t worthwhile either because all they do is run it back through the machine.

    Ask a town clerk to see the ballots and you’ll get a line about how it’s so important to keep the chain of custody. If there’s no security surrounding the ballots what’s the point of chain of custody other than to ensure that you can’t check the election?

  5. Vermont is a cesspool of corruption. Ethics and integrity is paramount to governance. Considering what has gone on in Vermont for decades, ethics and integrity no longer exists here in our government on any level. Is swearing to an oath and pledging to uphold the will of the People have no meaning? Is it just words, a formality, a traditional ceremony that has no consequence if the oath is ignored or broken? We are in societal collapse when no one can be trusted to uphold the law – the Constitutional Law and Common Law. One nation under God. As we witness God being removed from our institions, God being mocked and ignored by society, churches following government demands and not God’s commands, the foundation of our Country is crumbling away. Soon, the true power of God will be witnessed and those who are not with God, do not stand with God, will suffer profound judgement.

    Luke 21: 26-28
    26 Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.

    27 And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.

    28 And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.

  6. Article 6 of the Vermont Constitution – We The People are to hold our Elected Leaders Legally Accountable. This means Selectboards, Treasurers, Town Clerks, School Boards, Listers, Etc.

    Vermont’s Government requires citizen participation and oversight. By Vermont Law, Boards of Civil Authority (BCA) are in charge of Elections NOT the Town Clerks. Lack of Citizen involvement and weak BCA Members has made our Elections untrustworthy and without oversight.

    Get involved! Pick a place to function and bring accountability and questions. Change starts with YOU! Run for a local office. Run for Justice of the Peace to get on your Town’s BCA. Run for School Board.

    We are NOT victims! We have to use the tools available to us and have the courage to Stand Up, Speak Up and Take a Part in our Free Republic!
    Do you value your Freedom enough to get involved?

Leave a Reply