VRM in the States: Vermont

February 1, 2017

On April 27, 2016, Gov. Peter Shumlin became the fourth governor to sign automatic voter registration into law. The three-party Vermont legislature passed automatic voter registration with nearly unanimous support on April 13. This legislation builds on last year’s implementation of online voter registration and electronic transfer between the DMV and election officials. Learn more about automatic registration here.

This effort is part of a trend of state governments advancing automatic registration. In March 2015, Oregon became the first state to pass a law to automatically register eligible citizens when they interact with the DMV. California, West Virginia, Connecticut, and Alaska all followed, authorizing automatic registration between 2015 and 2016.

Prior Advances in Voter Registration Modernization

This reform builds upon Vermont’s existing voter registration modernization efforts:

  • Electronic Voter Registration: Vermont launched electronic voter registration at DMV offices in 2015. Information is electronically transferred from DMV offices to election officials.
  • Online Voter Registration: Vermont launched online voter registration through the Secretary of State’s office in 2015. Eligible citizens can use the system to register to vote or update their registration information even if they do not have a state driver’s license or non-driver ID.  
  • Election Day Registration: Vermont implemented Election Day registration in 2017. Individuals may register and vote at the polls on Election Day and during the early voting period.
  • Electronic Pollbooks: Seventeen out of 246 Vermont cities and towns used electronic pollbooks to sign in voters in 2014.