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Vermont elections chief pushing to make universal ballot mailing permanent

Vermont elections chief pushing to make universal ballot mailing permanent
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The top elections official in Vermont said Wednesday he is working to make universal ballot mailing permanent after the state used mail voting last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Officials mailed ballots to every registered voter for the state's August primary elections and November general election under a bill passed by the state's Democratic-controlled legislature. Gov. Phil Scott (R) did not support the measure but allowed it to become law without his signature, and state Republicans unsuccessfully sued to overturn the law.

Speaking on a press call hosted by the National Vote at Home Institute, Vermont Secretary of State Jim Condos (D) said he was pushing to make last year's changes the norm going forward.

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"We're working to make universal ballot mailing permanent," Condos said.

His office later confirmed to The Hill that Condos was supporting efforts by state lawmakers to craft legislation to expand the practice but noted that a bill was not yet finalized.

“Our experience in Vermont has clearly shown that voting by mail is safe, secure and accessible. Our democracy is stronger when we all participate. I will continue to work with the Vermont Legislature to make permanent changes to Vermont’s election law that ensure every eligible, active Vermont voter is mailed a ballot so that they can exercise whichever accessible voting option they choose," Condos told The Hill in a statement.

Many Republicans at the state and federal level, including former President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump mocks Murkowski, Cheney election chances Race debate grips Congress US reentry to Paris agreement adds momentum to cities' sustainability efforts MORE, criticized the expansion of mail-in voting last year, alleging without evidence that the practice would lead to widespread voter fraud.

FBI Director Christopher Wray in September said during testimony before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee that the FBI has "not seen, historically, any kind of coordinated national voter fraud effort in a major election whether it’s by mail or otherwise."