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Hi Barbara and Carol,

  You are correct that each ballot should always be reviewed for write-in votes and other indications of voter intent, in any case.

  The context where this section of the statute can save time is in a hand count town that has, for example, the same number of candidates for justice of the peace as there are positions to be filled.  In that case this statute allows you not to have to go through and tally those candidate vote totals.  Instead, you can more quickly look at each ballot for write-in votes.  At the end of that review, if no write-in candidate received more votes than any named candidate, the slate can be declared elected.  The statute does not save any significant time for a tabulator count because the candidate totals are performed by the tabulator and each ballot still must then be reviewed for write-in votes.

  Please feel free to contact me directly if you have any questions.

Thanks
Will

William Senning
Director of Elections
Office of the Secretary of State
128 State Street
Montpelier, VT 05633-1101
Phone: (802) 828-0175
FAX: (802) 828-5171
From: Vermont Municipal Government Discussion Network [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Barbara A. Courchesne
Sent: Tuesday, January 13, 2015 9:24 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Declaring Slate when there are no contested races

Yes, still need to do voter intent.

Barbara A. Courchesne
Town Clerk/Town Treasurer
Delinquent Tax Collector

Town of Springfield
96 Main Street
Springfield, VT 05156
802-885-2104 phone
802-885-1617 fax

Disclosure:  Written communication to and from Town officials regarding Town business are considered public records and will be available to the public for review.

From: Vermont Municipal Government Discussion Network [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Carol Dawes
Sent: Tuesday, January 13, 2015 9:18 AM
To: [log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>
Subject: Re: Declaring Slate when there are no contested races

Hmmm... I have to disagree with JP.  The tabulator only tallies write-ins if the voter filled in the oval.  By VT state law, we are required to actually eyeball every ballot to see if people wrote in names without filling in the oval, as we're all about voter intent.

Anybody else see it differently?

Carol

From: Vermont Municipal Government Discussion Network [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Barbara A. Courchesne
Sent: Tuesday, January 13, 2015 9:08 AM
To: [log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>
Subject: Re: Declaring Slate when there are no contested races

Hi Carol:

I checked with JP Isabelle before putting my question on Muninet and here is his response:

"Practically speaking, this allows you to not have to count a race where there is only one person on the ballot, the vote tabulator tells you that there were 300 votes for that person and 15 write-ins.  You know the named candidate won, so you don't have to go through and find every Mickey Mouse on the ballot.  Candidate A 300, Write-Ins 15.  The statute allows you to do this without using a tally sheet.  It does give you quite a bit of discretion and it is up to you how you use it and what you feel comfortable with.  You can certainly still count all the ballots and provide a list of all the write-ins.

After the close of the polls, and assuming there are no contents, you would like at the tape.  If any races are close or there are a high number of write-ins (enough where a write-in could win or come close), I would check that race and do a count of the write-ins.   But the statute allows you to not have to do tally sheets and count each write-in if there simply isn't enough to overcome the person on the ballot."

This would streamline our end of the night routine considerably, don't you think?


Barbara A. Courchesne
Town Clerk/Town Treasurer
Delinquent Tax Collector

Town of Springfield
96 Main Street
Springfield, VT 05156
802-885-2104 phone
802-885-1617 fax

Disclosure:  Written communication to and from Town officials regarding Town business are considered public records and will be available to the public for review.

From: Vermont Municipal Government Discussion Network [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Carol Dawes
Sent: Tuesday, January 13, 2015 8:30 AM
To: [log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>
Subject: Re: Declaring Slate when there are no contested races

Hey Barbara,

You still need to tally the write-ins.  The statute reads (in part), "...provided each person on the slate has more votes than the largest number of write-in votes for any one write-in candidate."

Carol

Carolyn S. Dawes, CVC CVT
Barre City Clerk/Treasurer
6 North Main St.
PO Box 418
Barre, VT   05641
(802) 476-0242 phone
(802) 476-0264 fax
www.barrecity.org<http://www.barrecity.org>



From: Vermont Municipal Government Discussion Network [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Barbara A. Courchesne
Sent: Tuesday, January 13, 2015 8:15 AM
To: [log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>
Subject: Declaring Slate when there are no contested races

Hello Fellow Clerks:

I'm a tabulator town and I was wondering do any of you take advantage of 17 V.S.A. 2682 which allows for declaring the slate of candidates when the same number of persons are nominated for any town office as there are positions to be filled?  The statute indicates that in this case individual tallies looking for write-ins do not need to be done.  We received an Elections Bulletin dated June 23, 2014 with this information appearing under "Local Election Changes".

Thanks,

Barbara A. Courchesne
Town Clerk/Town Treasurer
Delinquent Tax Collector

Town of Springfield
96 Main Street
Springfield, VT 05156
802-885-2104 phone
802-885-1617 fax

Disclosure:  Written communication to and from Town officials regarding Town business are considered public records and will be available to the public for review.