WASHINGTON, D.C. — A bill that would guarantee universal mail-in voting is progressing through the Vermont Legislature. Democrats in the state Senate passed S. 15 in late March, a proposal championed by the Vermont secretary of state’s office that would send a ballot for the general election to every registered voter in early October. Voters could return their ballots by mail, in person or at a drop box.
The bill is currently being debated in key state House committees, where the ACLU of Vermont and other voting rights advocates are testifying in support of the bill. If it passes the state House, the legislation will head to Gov. Phil Scott’s (R) desk. Although he is a Republican, Scott has been largely supportive of vote by mail efforts, both during the height of the pandemic last year and in recent public comments about the pending legislation. His one concern, the governor said, is “if we’re going to do it for the general election, why not do it for all of the other elections we have? If it works for the general, it should work for some of the others.”
The bill is still in committee hearings in the state House. No date has been set for a full state House vote.