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Vermont Legislature sends mail-in voting bill to governor

May 18, 2021 GMT

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — The Vermont Legislature has passed a bill that would send general election ballots to all active voters, making permanent a policy used last year during the pandemic.

The universal mail-in voting bill counters a move by some state legislatures to curtail voter access with more restrictive election laws, said House Speaker Jill Krowinski. Secretary of State Jim Condos applauded the work of the legislature saying that if enacted the measure will be the largest expansion of Vermont voter access in decades, making it one of the most voter friendly states in the country.

“When we make voting more accessible, more people vote. When we make voting more accessible, democracy better reflects the will of the people,” said Senate President Pro Tem Becca Balint in a written statement after the bill was sent to the governor.

Republican Gov. Phil Scott is likely to sign it, saying the state proved in the last election that mail-voting was worthwhile.

“I think that getting more people out to vote, making it as easy as possible for them to do so, to exercise this right was something that was beneficial to Vermont,” he said Tuesday.

Vermonters would still be able to vote at the polls on Election Day.