To the Editor:
There is a lot of disinformation out there regarding the “VERMONT OFFICIAL EARLY OR ABSENTEE BALLOTS” that we all should have received in the mail by now. The fact is that these ballots ARE NOT required at all in order to vote. We can show up at the polls and vote as we always have by having our name checked off the voter check list and being handed a ballot by a poll worker. This fact is being stifled by state and local officials who want to force you to use only the Early/Absent ballot. Don’t have your voting rights limited. There are many reasons to choose to vote the normal way. In any case – IT IS OUR CHOICE!
So what to do with the Early/Absent ballot? Well if you have a puppy it is good for housebreaking. Also for lining a bird cage. Or you can do what I did — toss it in the trash.
Bennington Town Clerk Cassandra Barbeau responds:
"The writer is correct on a few points, there is a significant amount of misinformation being passed around with regard to the early ballots which were mailed out by the Secretary of State. I always encourage people to go to the source, call your Town Clerk, we are here to help.
"You are not required to mark these ballots. There will be in-person voting as well on November 3, 2020. However, if you wish to do so, to save yourself time at the polls, reach out to your Clerk ahead of time for guidance on what to do with the ballot that was mailed to you. Otherwise, you may be required to produce the ballot or sign an affidavit on Election Day. These facts are not being stifled by the Secretary of State or local officials, in fact, all this information can be found at the following link of Frequently Asked Questions: https://sos.vermont.gov/elections/voters/voter-faqs/#q11 .
"Please don’t toss your ballot in the trash. No one wants to see ballots in the trash, it raises more concerns, as we have seen in the news before. There are more appropriate ways to handle it."