The small Vermont community most famous as the birthplace of President Calvin Coolidge abruptly canceled its Australian ballot vote on Tuesday’s Town Meeting Day, and is now readying for a do-over. “This was an honest mistake,” said Russ Tonkin of the Plymouth Select Board. “And we will make it right.” Tonkin said about 90 of Plymouth’s nearly 500 registered voters had cast their ballots in the local election when the select board shut down the process midday, voiding those votes. “We didn’t want to waste anybody else’s time,” Tonkin added.
Tonkin said the polling place needed volunteers to help check people in and out of the facility during the voting. A candidate for select board and someone up for town lister ended up with those jobs, he said. “Finding people to work at the polls in a small town is difficult,” Tonkin observed.
However, under Vermont election rules, those candidates were not allowed to also serve as poll workers while their names were on the ballot.
According to state statute, candidates may not serve as an election official unless they are the only candidate for the office, or unless the office is for certain positions, such as town moderator, town clerk, or justice of the peace.