Around the NEK - Vermont has been ranked as the number one state with the most accessible voting for the second year in a row. The ranking was done by Ballotpedia, a nonpartisan online encyclopedia of American politics and elections.
The report ranks all fifty states in terms of access, quality of information, and response speed. The total amount of possible points to receive was 50 and Vermont received 49.
The break down for each category is as follows:
1.) Ease of Access: Did election agencies present the information candidates needed in an easy-to-find and easy-to-understand manner? Total points achievable - 24
2.) Quality of Information: Did agencies disclose precise disclose precise filing fee and signature requirement figures, or did agencies require candidates to calculate these figures themselves? Total points achievable - 18
3.) Response Speed: Did agencies respond to email queries in a timely manner? Total points achievable - 8
Vermont was only marked down one point in ease of access.
Vermont Secretary of State Jim Condos is especially happy about the announcement "I am very proud to see that our Vermont Elections Division ranked so favorably. It is a direct result of all the effort our team has put into ensuring election information is accessible to all Vermonters."
The Vermont Secretary of State's Office has many different programs that are there to ensure the accessibility of voting. They offer an online voter registration, an effective campaign finance and lobbying disclosure reporting sites, and the most program: My Voter Page. The My Voter Page is set up to help residents find anything they may need regarding the politics of the state including, sample ballots, absentee ballots, and any information you may need to help you find where and how to vote. These programs are an effective way to make voting more accessible and are believed to be the main reason Vermont was the highest ranking.
Lyndon’s Town Clerk Dawn Dwyer believes that the online accessibility is the key factor to this, “ It’s because we are doing online registration and online voting now, so requests can be made right from the comfort of their own home.”
Now Vermont will be working for the perfect score of 50! To do so Secretary Condos believes hard work will be the right ingredient "Our office will continue working hard to ensure we are available and responsive to the public we serve. This includes quick response times to emails and phone calls, maintaining convenient websites for the public, and ensuring transparency in all we do."
The full report and rankings can be found at https://ballotpedia.org/2016_state_election_agency_accessibility_report