Contact: Charity R. Clark, Chief of Staff, 802-828-3171
Following President Donald Trump falsely declaring victory in the presidential election, Attorney General T.J. Donovan is reassuring Vermonters that he will protect the rule of law by ensuring that every vote is counted.
“If democracy is going to work, we must respect the will of the people and that means we count every legal vote,” said Attorney General Donovan. “Voters will determine the outcome of the election.”
Vermont has been fighting for the integrity of our elections alongside its sister states in the months leading up to the election (see complete list below). The Vermont Attorney General’s Office sued the U.S. Postal Service to ensure that critical mail delivery continued, and it defended the State – twice – to ensure that mail-in ballots were sent to every registered, active Vermont voter. It also has joined several amicus briefs defending the right to vote in other states. Today, the day after Election Day, is no different—Vermont will fight to ensure that every legal vote is counted.
Here is a list of actions taken by the Attorney General’s Office since August 1, 2020, to protect the right to vote:
- October 28: Vermont joined a coalition in supporting states’ right to protect voters from intimidation at polling places by filing a brief arguing the Michigan Court of Appeals should uphold the authority of the Michigan Secretary of State to ban the open carry of guns at polling places on Election Day.
- October 26: Vermont joined a 15-state coalition defending North Carolina’s extended deadline for receiving mail-in ballots.
- October 26: Vermont joined a brief defending Minnesota’s deadline extension for receiving and counting mail-in ballots that were properly cast on or before Election Day.
- October 19: Attorney General Donovan joined 17 attorneys general in opposing Alabama’s attempt to ban curbside voting after a federal court permitted local officials the flexibility of allowing it.
- October 26: Through the National Association of Attorneys General, Attorney General Donovan joined a bipartisan group of 36 attorneys general in issuing a statement regarding the 2020 election: “…As part of our duty to uphold the rule of law, we will take seriously any allegations of election interference, including voter fraud, voter intimidation and suppression. Moreover, we remind our fellow citizens that violence against persons or property is never an acceptable response to any election outcome and we condemn political violence of any kind.”
- October 12: Vermont joined a 19-state coalition opposing a Texas order drastically limiting the number of ballot drop-off sites.
- October 8: Vermont joined a 17-state coalition opposing Mississippi’s restrictive vote-by-mail requirements.
- October 5: The Attorney General’s Office collaborated with the Vermont Secretary of State to publish guidance outlining the state and federal laws that prohibit voter intimidation and harassment.
- October 5: Vermont joined an 18-state coalition opposing South Carolina’s witness requirement for mail-in ballots.
- September 28: Vermont joined a 17-state coalition defending a Texas county clerk’s decision to send mail-in voting applications to voters by filing a brief arguing local officials need to tailor election procedures to encourage voter participation and protect voter safety during the pandemic.
- In September, the Attorney General’s Office defended the State of Vermont—and won— two lawsuits in which plaintiffs sought to stop mail-in ballots from being sent to every registered, active Vermont voter. The first lawsuit was dismissed on September 8 by the Vermont Superior Court; the second lawsuit was dismissed a week later on September 16 by the U.S. District Court for the District of Vermont.
- In August, Vermont sued the U.S. Postal Service to halt proposed changes that would impact critical mail delivery, including the delivery of mail-in ballots. The following month, a Washington State federal judge issued a nationwide injunction blocking the Postmaster General’s unlawful policies delaying mail.
- August 3: Vermont joined a 20-state coalition against Florida’s unlawful pay-to-vote system for formerly incarcerated citizens.