Getting ready to vote in the new COVID era.

The work behind the scenes to get it right is no easy task

I am sharing information from several sources so that you are properly informed and prepared for the upcoming voting day on August 11, 2020.

Ever wonder what it takes to prepare for voting day ? Normally it would be just part of the job for the Town clerk and her assistants. I would venture to say that if you add the COVID-19 pandemic, things done to prepare would have to be a lot more than just normal. I guess you could say it is no easy task. I will try to give you an idea from info that was sent to me.

The following was sent to me by Claudette Brochu and is worthy to share with you so that you can get an idea of the efforts that many took to get ready for the big day.

Hi Demo,

I regret that I did not send you a story idea concerning the amount of work needed to put the Aug election together. Might not be too late to do a story.

Background: at our last SB mtg, Bonnie mentioned she could use all the help she could get. OK, so I said I'll help. Got to her office Friday afternoon,(July 17, 2020. By then as a result of the Sec of State's postcard mailings and Bonnie's List serve post, I would say about 200+ requests had been made for absentee ballots. 

OK, you say...so where is the story? Well, those mail-in ballots have to be put together by someone. Clearly, Bonnie and Judy can't do it all even with working 6 days/week (which they are). The first step is Bonnie needing to enter all those requests on the checklist (actual details you can get from Bonnie). Meanwhile, behind the scenes, someone has to fold 3 ballots (Republican, Progressive, Democrat), add an envelope for un-voted ballots, another for instructions, another for official ballot, self addressed envelope for return and envelope for mailing. Then attach return address label to return envelope and address of voter on outside. Repeat x 900 times. And then do the same for the Special Town Meeting ballot.

I can't tell you how huge this undertaking has been. And it has worked like a well-oiled machine. As of Friday, I was told that every request for a mail-in ballot has been met and were out the door to the Post Office at 4:30 Friday. (Then, the impact on the PO-not even going to go there, but I can guess it was substantial.) Some other volunteers/helpers were Pam Smith , Lily Birgmierer Not sure who else may have been involved.

I can say we filled 4 of the big PO totes with ballots on Friday alone. 

Then, the return ballots. No idea of the process there. Add to that, the actual August in person election. 

And next week, a similar response, but not as complicated, will be had with the property tax mailings. 

I really want people to know what it takes to put on an election, especially in light of COVID.

Information sent by Bonnie to keep you informed

VOTE- State primary is Tues. Aug. 11. Be sure your voice is heard and VOTE.
Ways to request your ballot:

-         Visit https://mvp.vermont.gov/

-         Mail request to Norwich Town Clerk, PO Box 376, Norwich, VT  05055

-         Email clerk@norwich.vt.us


-         Call 802-649-1419, ext. 3

Thank you,
Norwich Town Clerk's office

More pertinent info from Bonnie’s office can be found here:

13. August 11, 2020 Voting
From: Bonnie Munday <BMunday@norwich.vt.us>
Date: Wed, 22 Jul 2020 16:46:48 +0000

Good afternoon,

Absentee Ballots for both the Primary Elections and The Town Ballot have to be received in my office NO LATER than AUGUST 11, 2020.  POSTMARKS ARE NOT EXCEPTED.

If we receive you ballot on August 12, 2020 IT WILL NOT BE COUNTED.  If we receive your ballot later than 7:00 PM on August 11, 2020 IT WILL NOT BE COUNTED.
If you must you may leave your ballot  you ballot off on August 11, 2020 you may leave it in the drop box in front of Tracy Hall, (we check this box regularly,) or at the drive thru voting site located at 24 New Boston Road  THE NORWICH TRANSFER STATION.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact us.

Bonnie Munday
Judy Trussell
Norwich Town Clerks Office

Don’t forget that there is a Polling place change this year. Please see below message from Miranda Bergmeier.

The Norwich Transfer station will be the new polling place.

17. Aug. 11th Primary & Special Town Meeting - Polling Place Change
From: Miranda Bergmeier <MBergmeier@norwich.vt.us>
Date: Thu, 23 Jul 2020 14:17:34 +0000

The polling place location for the August 11, 2020 primary and special town meeting has changed.
Drive-through voting will be held at the Norwich Transfer Station, 24 New Boston Road, 7:00 am - 7:00 pm.

Details have been posted on the Norwich website at http://norwich.vt.us/august-11th-town-mtg-primary/

Miranda Bergmeier
Assistant to the Town Manager
Town of Norwich
P.O. Box 376
Norwich, VT  05055
802-649-1419 x101