Guilford voters will be receiving a new ballot in the mail for the Justice of the Peace election. The ballot will be mailed to every registered voter in town by Guilford town clerk, Penny Marine, following meetings this past week of the town’s Board of Civil Authority and Selectboard. Voters should be receiving the new ballots within a few days. All previously submitted JP ballots — only the JP ballot, not the main ballot for all other offices — will not be counted and will be destroyed.
This action is a result of an error in the preparation of the main General Election ballot, which failed to include the Justice of the Peace candidates. With the approval of the Vermont Election Division of the Secretary of State’s office, the town clerk initially remediated the omission by sending new ballots to voters who requested them. A number of townspeople, however, questioned the fairness of this system.
Thus the Selectboard and Board of Civil Authority, which supervises elections, met and voted unanimously to send a new ballot to every voter.
And, again, this action is only for the ballot for Guilford Justices of the Peace, not the main ballot for Senate, Governor, State Rep, etc., which is correct and which voters should submit.
It it important to know that those by-request JP ballots, which some voters have already submitted, will not be counted, and will be destroyed, so only the new ballot will count; if you already voted that JP ballot, you should vote again with the new ballot.
Voters may return their completed ballots either by mail, or by delivering them to the town office during regular hours, Monday through Thursday, or at any hour by depositing them in the new, secure lockbox right outside the office door. Voters may also bring their completed ballots to the polling place, Broad Brook Community Center, on Election Day, November 8, from 10 am to 7 pm.
Please note that JP ballots should be returned in the envelope supplied with that ballot, not in the envelope which accompanies the main election ballot.
Your town officials apologize for the original error, and for confusion resulting from efforts to correct it. We feel that starting over with a ballot mailed to all voters is the best and most expedient way to ensure a fair election.
Questions may be directed to the town clerk at 802-254-6857 ext 107.
Penny Marine, town clerk
Don McLean, chair, Board of Civil Authority
Zon Eastes, chair, Guilford Selectboard