By Rob Roper
According to a report from the Caledonian Record, the Victory Board of Civil Authority reviewed its voter checklist and removed five people. But not the family of second-home owners from Connecticut who form the basis for the court challenge.
Again, according to the Record, “The family sent an email signed by Robert, Toni and Brendan Flanigan, which stated, ‘I believe that my husband and I and my son Brendan should be allowed to stay on a voter checklist in the Town of Victory. My father Antonio Sepra owned the house located at 2870 Victory Hill Road in Victory, Vermont. He purchased it in 1990. … We all have an intention to move there when we retire.’”
Here they have admitted that they don’t live in Vermont — they won’t live in Vermont until they retire. They are second-home owners, but the BCA in Victory has apparently deemed that enough to remain on the voter rolls.
This is crazy.
Here is the Vermont statute that defines who is a Vermont resident for purposes of voting: “a person who is domiciled in the town as evidenced by an intent to maintain a principal dwelling place in the town indefinitely and to return there if temporarily absent, coupled with an act or acts consistent with that intent.” 17 V.S.A. § 2122(b).
Are we going to have to argue over the definition of the word “is” again? Clearly, the meaning of this statute is that a person must first establish a permanent, primary residence (and be able to prove that with evidence) in the town in which they wish to vote, and then intend to maintain that as their primary residence, by returning when “temporarily absent, coupled with an act or acts consistent with that intent.”
The Flanigans are not domiciled in the town of Victory. They do not have a principal dwelling place there. They should not be allowed to vote there. Period.
However, the way the Victory BCA and Secretary of State Jim Condos (D) are interpreting this very clear law is that all one needs be allowed to vote in our state and local elections is to say one has an intent to move to Vermont at any point in the future. This is an indefensible misinterpretation of the law, not to mention stupid policy.
Hopefully, a judge will rule to remove the Flanigans from the Victory voter list and create a precedent that will force Secretary Condos and other election officials to uphold the law as it is plainly written. Even so, it is alarming that election officials at both the local and the highest levels are ignoring the clear intent of Vermont law to enable what is undeniably voter fraud.