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I have not had the opportunity to study the recommendations proposed for
election changes, but I am not happy with the system that we currently
have. So, I am ready to look at anything that might improve the
integrity of the checklist.
 
 When I started as Town Clerk, there was nothing more sacred than the
voter list. Today, in my opinion, our checklists are nothing but
disaster. So, I am looking forward to reviewing and debating proposed
changes including same day voter registration. In my opinion, we have
had same day voter registration for several years by using the affidavit
for people who registered with motor vehicle. The only difference being
that some of those people appeared to vote, found that they were not on
the checklist and we, as clerks, took the responsibility of trying to
determine why they were not on the checklist and to fix the issue we
allowed them to use the affidavit and/or referred them to a neighboring
town where they may have still been on the checklist but did not reside.

 
Another example - someone who had actually moved from our municipality,
and because of the delay in removing the name from the checklist, we
were required to allow them to vote. I realize that same day voter
registration may create some issues, but it may in fact correct some
existing issues. We need to have this debate openly with a goal of a
better system when we are done.  It is not that I don't understand the
issues, it is that we at a point with the state wide checklist, with the
technology and with the times that we have to continually review where
we are and how do we make it better and is there a way to make it
better? 
 
Last week Deb Beckett, Williston Town Clerk currently stationed in Iraq,
in an email to us on Muninet, expressed her amazement at what is going
on in Iraq with the voting process. I think that we, as election
officials, can all appreciate what is going on there. Let's hope that we
find the neutral grounds on this issue and be able to walk away with a
better system than we have now. 
 
This debate cannot be done on the Muninet; the Muninet is only a tool to
express our opinions. The Town Clerks in this State need to find a date
and time that we can meet in a forum to debate this and many other
issues. It is disturbing to me to read of the horror stories that Town
Clerks and Treasurers are going through in their municipal offices. This
is another issue that we, as an Association, need to debate in a forum
and see how we can solve this problem as an Association. It is ironic
that we continually tear down the heritage of this State by taking away
from the voter the opportunity to elect it's officials. Let's, as an
Association, find a time to sit and debate these  and other issues and
see if we can't come to a consensus on these and other issues.    John