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Vermont public health association

VtPHA Support for Universal Vote by Mail Program

18 May 2020 9:42 AM | Vermont Public Health Association (Administrator)

May 18, 2020

The Hon. Phil Scott

The Hon. James Condos

The Hon. Mitzi Johnson

The Hon. Tim Ashe

Dear Elected Leaders:

It is the position of the Vermont Public Health Association (VtPHA) that Vermont should implement a universal vote-by-mail program for the 2020 elections. Please find the following statement posted on our homepage (www.vtpha.org) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/VermontPublicHealthAssociation/):

The Vermont Public Health Association salutes Vermont’s elected leadership for their response to the COVID 19 pandemic. Their actions have helped “flatten the curve” of the virus’ spread and thus have protected Vermonters from this significant disease. However, it is widely recognized by public health experts that there is a real risk of a resurgence of COVID 19 in the next several months or this coming fall. Thus, we must continue proven public health practices, such as physical distancing, to keep the pandemic under control.

The November 2020 election poses a challenge for policymakers and public health officials alike. Election forecasters predict record turnout, which is good for our democratic process but will create crowded public gatherings that could expose voters and election workers to the COVID 19 virus.

Therefore, the Vermont Public Health Association recommends that for the upcoming general election, the state creates a robust system enabling key options for voting, including in-person voting, absentee ballots, and a universally available vote by mail system. This will create several options for all voters. The Vermont Public Health Association specifically supports the initiation of a vote by mail option for every registered voter that allows them to vote safely from home.

This flexibility on voting options for our citizens will prevent Vermonters from having to choose between avoiding exposure to COVID 19 and exercising their right to vote. It adds an additional protection for our citizens who may be older or who live with a chronic health condition. It also supports voters who are less able to travel or unable to take time off of work. A comprehensive vote-by-mail system works to equalize voting opportunities for all Vermonters. 

VtPHA is a membership organization which facilitates collaboration among people who care about public health and are interested in protecting and promoting the health of Vermont residents. Should you have any questions about our position, please be in touch.

Sincerely,


Sally Kerschner, RN, MSN

President

About the association

VtPHA is a membership organization which facilitates collaboration among people who care about public health and are interested in protecting and promoting the health of Vermont residents.

VtPHA is an Affiliate of the American Public Health Association (APHA). APHA is the national voice of public health and champions the health of all people and all communities. They are the only organization that combines a 140-plus year perspective, the ability to influence federal policy to improve the public’s health and a member community from all public health disciplines and over 40 countries. Learn more at www.apha.org.

Contacts

vtpublichealth@outlook.com
Vermont Public Health Association
P.O. Box 732
Burlington, VT 05402-0732

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