News Releases

September 16, 2008

Vermont to Implement Mobile Polling Pilot Project

Secretary of State Deb Markowitz to conduct initial training session for municipal clerks in Montpelier.

Montpelier. On Tuesday, September 16th, Secretary of State Deb Markowitz will conduct a training to help town clerks implement Vermont’s new mobile polling law. Mobile polling allows election workers to bring absentee ballots to a long term care facility, senior housing, low income housing, school or other facility, to offer early voting to people who are eligible to vote in the town. The Secretary of State’s office will be reporting on the project to the legislature during the next legislative session. The law was passed as a pilot project and it will expire July 2009 unless the legislature decides to extend it.

Markowitz said, “We are excited about this pilot project and hope that it will show us whether we can better serve hard to reach Vermonters. Mobile polling will not only increase access to voting but it will decrease the risk of fraud or abuse because it will be implemented by bipartisan groups of trained election workers.”

In order to implement this new mobile polling law Secretary Markowitz is conducting a training session for municipal clerks who are interested in participating in the pilot project. The training will occur on Tuesday, September 16, beginning at noon, at the Capitol Plaza in Montpelier. In addition, in partnership with the University of Pennsylvania Medical School and the American Bar Association, the Secretary of State’s Office will be participating in a study that is looking at whether mobile polling is an effective way to address the voting needs of nursing home residents. “As our population ages, we expect that an increasingly large percentage of our voters will be living, at some point, in a long term care setting,” says Markowitz. “It is the goal of this project to ensure that residents of long term care facilities are provided meaningful opportunities to vote while minimizing the risk of fraud or abuse.”

Joining Secretary Markowitz in the training session on the 16th are Jason Karlawish, M.D. of the University of Pennsylvania’s Division of Geriatric Medicine, and Ellen Klem of the American Bar Association’s Commission on Law and Aging. Additional workshops will be held around the state in October.

Source: Secretary of State
Last Updated at: September 16, 2008 16:20:38