Amy Moreway

Election volunteer Amy Moreway sits behind a sheet of plexiglass at the check-in desk at the Grand Isle-Chittenden poll. Moreway also volunteered during the primary election in August. 

MONTPELIER — Following an unprecedented general election in 2020, the Vermont House on Wednesday passed an amended Senate bill that, among other things, would establish universal vote-by-mail for general elections in Vermont. The bill, S.15, passed through the Senate in March and will return to that chamber to consider amendments made by the House before going to the governor’s desk.

The bill also creates a means of fixing defective ballots that have been mailed in. The House Committee on Appropriations recommended the House propose to the Senate an amendment that would establish appropriations for election-related expenses in fiscal year 2022 in the bill.

Here are five key numbers relating to S.15 and mail-in voting in Vermont:

$800,000

The amount of money proposed to be appropriated for the Secretary of State’s office for election-related expenses in fiscal year 2022. Half of those funds would come from the general fund, with the other half coming from the Secretary of State Service Fund or Help America Vote Act funds, according to the proposal.

45,000

The increase in voter turnout during the 2020 general election compared to previous elections, according to data from Vermont Conservation Voters.

73%

General election turnout among Vermont’s registered voters for the 2020 general election, according to data from the Secretary of State’s office.

68%

The percentage of Vermont voters who want to keep mail-in voting going forward, according to a poll conducted by the independent firm Lincoln Park Strategies in February. In the poll, 29% said they opposed using mail-in balloting going forward.

280,455

The number of absentee ballots counted in the 2020 general election. According to the Secretary of State’s office, 370,968 Vermont voters participated in the election, out of a total of 506,312 registered voters in the state.

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