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VRM in the States: Vermont

Vermont approved automatic voter registration in April 2016 with nearly unanimous support.

Last Updated: February 9, 2021
Published: March 1, 2018

On April 27, 2016, Vermont became the fourth state to author­ize auto­matic voter regis­tra­tion, when Gov. Peter Shum­lin signed a bill that the legis­lature had passed with near-unan­im­ous support. The Secret­ary of State’s Office imple­men­ted the system in Janu­ary 2017. Eligible citizens who inter­act with the DMV are registered to vote or have their exist­ing regis­tra­tion inform­a­tion updated, unless they decline. Learn more about auto­matic regis­tra­tion here.

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.

Gains from Voter Regis­tra­tion Modern­iz­a­tion in Vermont

  • Between the launch of online voter regis­tra­tion in 2015 and the Novem­ber 2016 elec­tion, the state received 25,413 new voter regis­tra­tion applic­a­tions through its online portal.
  • In the first sixth months of the AVR program, the state netted more than 12,000 new and updated regis­tra­tions from the DMV – a 62 percent jump from the first half of 2016, when the DMV processed just 7,600 regis­tra­tions.