Roll Call! House Blocks Measure to Prohibit “Ballot Harvesting” (50-95), 2020

S.348 – AN ACT RELATING TO TEMPORARY ELECTION PROCEDURES IN THE YEAR 2020, MYERS AMENDMENT

FAILED
in the State House of Representatives
on June 10, 2020, by a vote of
50-95

Purpose: The underlying bill, S.348, would remove the Governor from the decision making process of how to conduct elections during the COVID-19 pandemic, clearing the way to allow for a process in which “live” absentee ballots would be mailed to all registered voters on the statewide checklist, regardless of a request (roughly 500,000 ballots). The purpose of the Myers Amendment is to, under these circumstances, discourage the practice of “ballot harvesting,” a controversial practice in which campaign operatives and/or activists collect ballots from voters, often resulting in undo influence over voters, fraudulent filling out of ballots, and destruction of ballots. The key language in the amendment reads, “An early voter absentee ballot may be returned only by the voter; the justices of the peace who delivered the ballot, if applicable; or an authorized family member or caregiver acting in the voter’s behalf,” as well as defining criminal penalties if violated and mandates a civil investigation if there is reason to suspect this kind of fraud is occurring.

Analysis: Mailing live ballots to 500,000 addresses for an election in which roughly 300,000 Vermonters are expected to vote will create a situation where 200,000 unclaimed/unwanted ballots are in circulation for anyone to collect, fraudulently fill out, and submit.

Those voting YES on the bill believe that with the unprecedented action in Vermont of mailing ballots to voters who did not request them, knowing that tens of thousands of names and addresses on the statewide voter checklist are invalid, people having died or moved away, and examples of “ballot harvesting” fraud occurring in other states, specific safeguards need to be put in place to prevent this from happening in Vermont.

Those voting NO argue “ballot harvesting” should not be prohibited in Vermont, and the practice will not lead to fraud.  


As Recorded in the House Journal, June 10, 2020: “…Shall the House propose to the Senate to amend the bill as offered by Rep. Myers and others? was decided in the negative. Yeas, 50. Nays, 95. (Read the Journal, p. 1160-1162). Watch the floor debate on YouTube.

Related: 
Roll Call! Senate Removes Governor from “All-Mail Election” Decision, 21-7 (2020)
Roll Call! Senate Blocks Measure to Prohibit “Ballot Harvesting” (5-24), 2020

How They Voted
(Click on your Rep’s name to send an email)

Janet Ancel (D – Calais) – NO
Peter Anthony (D – Barre) – NO
Sarita Austin (D – Colchester) – NO
Robert Bancroft (R – Westford) – YES
John Bartholomew (D – Hartland) – NO
Lynn Batchelor (R – Derby) – YES
Christopher Bates (D – Bennington) – YES
Scott Beck (R – St. Johnsbury) – YES
Matthew Birong (D – Vergennes) – NO
Thomas Bock (D – Chester) – NO
Patrick Brennan (R – Colchester) – YES
Timothy Briglin (D – Thetford) – NO
Nelson Brownell (D – Pownal) – NO
Cynthia Browning (D – Arlington) – YES
Jessica Brumsted (D – Shelburne) – NO
Thomas Burditt (R – West Rutland) – YES
Mollie Burke (P – Brattleboro) – NO
Scott Campbell (D – St. Johnsbury) – NO
William Canfield (R – Fair Haven) – YES
James Carroll (D – Bennington) – YES
Seth Chase (D – Colchester) – NO
Robin Chesnut-Tangerman (P – Middletown Springs) – NO
Annmarie Christensen (D – Weathersfield) – NO
Kevin “Coach” Christie (D – Hartford) – NO
Brian Cina (P – Burlington) – NO
Sara Coffey (D – Guilford) – NO
Selene Colburn (P – Burlington) – NO
Hal Colston (D – Winooski) – NO
Peter Conlon (D – Cornwall) – NO
Charles Conquest (D – Newbury) – NO
Sarah Copeland-Hanzas (D – Bradford) – NO
Timothy Corcoran (D – Bennington) – YES
Mari Cordes (D/P – Lincoln) – NO
Lawrence Cupoli (R – Rutland) – YES
Carl Demrow (D – Corinth) – YES
Eileen Dickinson (R – St. Albans) – YES
Kari Dolan (D – Waitsfield) – NO
Anne Donahue (R – Northfield) – YES
Johannah Donovan (D – Burlington) – NO
David Durfee (D – Shaftsbury) – NO
Caleb Elder (D – Starksboro) – NO
Alice Emmons (D – Springfield) – NO
Peter Fagan (R – Rutland) – YES
Charen Fegard (D – Berkshire) – NO
Martha Feltus (R – Lyndon) – YES
Marianna Gamache (R – Swanton) – YES
John Gannnon (D – Wilmington) – NO
Marcia Gardner (D – Richmond) – NO
Dylan Giambatista (D – Essex) – NO
Diana Gonzalez (P – Wioski) – NO
Kenneth Goslant (R – Northfield) – YES
Maxine Grad (D – Moretown) – NO
Rodney Graham (R – Williamstown) – ABSENT
James Gregoire (R – Fairfield) – YES
Sandy Haas (P – Rochester) – NO
Lisa Hango (R – Birkshire) – YES
James Harrison (R – Chittenden) – YES
Nader Hashim (D – Dummerston) – NO
Robert Helm (R – Fair Haven) – YES
Mark Higley (R – Lowell) – YES
Matthew Hill (D – Wolcott) – ABSENT
Robert Hooper (D – Burlington) – NO
Philip Hooper (D – Randolph) – NO
Mary Hooper (D – Montpelier) – NO
Lori Houghton (D – Essex) – NO
Mary Howard (D – Rutland) – NO
Kathleen James (D – Manchester) – NO
Stephanie Jerome (D – Brandon) – NO
Kimberly Jessup (D – Middlesex) – NO
Mitzi Johnson (D – Grand Isle) – PRESIDING
John Killacky (D – S. Burlington) – NO
Charles Kimbell (D – Woodstock) – NO
Warren Kitzmiller (D – Montpelier) – ABSENT
Emilie Kornheiser (D – Brattleboro) – NO
Jill Krowinski (D – Burlington) – NO
Robert LaClair (R – Barre) – YES
Martin LaLonde (D – S. Burlington) – NO
Diane Lanpher (D – Vergennes) – NO
Paul Lefebvre (R – Newark) – YES
Felisha Leffler (R – Esburgh) – YES
William Lippert (D – Hinesburg) – NO
Emily Long (D – Newfane) – NO
Terence Macaig (D – Williston) – NO
Michael Marcotte (R – Coventry) – YES
Marcia Martel (R – Waterford) – YES
James Masland (D – Thetford) – NO
Christopher Mattos (R – Milton) – YES
Michael McCarthy (D – St. Albans) – NO
Curtis McCormack (D – Burlington) – NO
Patricia McCoy (R – Poultney) – YES
James McCullough (D – Williston) – NO
Francis McFaun (R – Barre) – YES
Leland Morgan (R – Milton) – NO
Kristi Morris (D – Springfield) – NO
Mary Morrissey (R – Bennington) – YES
Michael Mrowicki (D – Putney) – NO
Barbara Murphy (I – Fairfax) – NO
Linda Myers (R – Essex) – YES
Logan Nicoll (D – Ludlow) – NO
Terry Norris (I – Shoreham) – YES
William Notte (D – Rutland) – NO
Daniel Noyes (D – Wolcott) – NO
John O’Brien (D – Tunbridge) – NO
Jean O’Sullivan (D – Burlington) – NO
Carol Ode (D – Burlington) – NO
“Woody” Page (R – Newport) – YES
Kelly Pajala (I – Londonderry) – NO
John Palasik (R – Milton) – YES
Carolyn Partridge (D – Windham) – NO
Avram Patt (D – Worcester) – NO
David Potter (D – Clarendon) – YES
Ann Pugh (D – S. Burlington) – NO
Constance Quimby (R – Concord) – YES
Barbara Rachelson (D – Burlington) – NO
Zachariah Ralph (P – Hartland) – NO
Marybeth Redmond (D – Essex) – NO
Peter Reed (I – Braintree) – NO
Lucy Rogers (D – Waterville) – NO
Carl Rosenquist (R – Georgia) – YES
Brian Savage (R – Swanton) – YES
Robin Scheu (D – Middlebury) – NO
Heidi Scheuermann (R – Stowe) – YES
Patrick Seymour (R – Sutton) – YES
Charles “Butch” Shaw (R – Pittsford) – YES
Amy Sheldon (D – Middlebury) – NO
Laura Sibilia (I – Dover) – NO
Brian Smith (R – Derby) – YES
Harvey Smith (R – New Haven) – YES
Trevor Squirrell (D – Underhill) – NO
Thomas Stevens (D – Waterbury) – NO
Vicki Strong (R – Albany) – YES
Linda Joy Sullivan (D – Dorset) – YES
Mary Sullivan (D – Burlington) – NO
Randall Szott (D – Barnard) – NO
Curt Taylor (D – Colchester) – NO
Thomas Terenzini (R – Rutland) – YES
George Till (D – Jericho) – ABSENT
Tristan Toleno (D – Brattleboro) – NO
Catherine Toll (D – Danville) – NO
Casey Toof (R – St. Albans) – YES
Maida Townsend (D – South) – NO
Joseph “Chip” Troiano (D – Stannard) – NO
Kelly Cota-Tulley (D – Rockingham) — NO
Tommy Walz (D – Barre) – NO
Kathryn Webb (D – Shelburne) – NO
Rebecca White (D – Hartford) – NO
Theresa Wood (D – Waterbury) – NO
David Yacovone (D – Morristown) – NO
Michael Yantachka (D – Charlotte) – NO
Samuel Young (D – Greensboro) – NO

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Irene Stewart June 12, 2020 at 2:19 pm

Is VPIRG still going to be going door to door collecting ballots, AND HELPING those “confused” filling out the ballot? I strongly object to VPIRG having anything to do with ballots sent to Vermonters. They are trying to become a fourth arm of our government! This must not happen, since they cannot be trusted.

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