To the voters of the City of Rutland. I wanted to share with you how my office will conduct the March 2 election. So far, we have held three elections during the COVID-19 outbreak. Each one has brought new challenges, yet we have set new standards and record voter turnouts. You may have heard there are possible changes on how each town/city can hold their March 2021 election. Within my office, my deputy and I have been discussing different scenarios for months. So let me be clear, the City of Rutland will hold its election on the first Tuesday in March, which is March 2, as originally scheduled.

This election will look a lot like November’s, our polling locations will be open form 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. with the standard COVID-19 requirements. Mask use and social distancing, along with strict sanitization practices will be required. If voters do not want to vote at their polling location, there are still several options. A voter may call, or write the City Clerk’s Office and request an absentee ballot. Our office remains open and you can request an absentee ballot or vote within our office. Just like the previous elections, getting your ballot back works the same. Mail it, drop it off at City Hall, or use the ballot drop boxes at City Hall at the Strongs Avenue entrance or the rear entrance to City Hall off Washington Street. Also, you could request an absentee ballot, fill it out at your home or office and deliver it to your polling location on Election Day. So as you can see, there are many options.

The March election poses to be heavily contested with numerous candidate petitions received to date. Deadlines are quickly coming and from the time my office receives ballots to Election Day, is less than three weeks. So if you would like to request a ballot, call us, don’t wait.

My No. 1 message to all Rutland City voters: Election Day is still Tuesday, March 2, 2021. Polls will be open normal hours, 7 a.m.-7 p.m., with COVID-19 enforcement. You need to request an absentee ballot from the Rutland City Clerk’s Office if you are not voting in person. Get that ballot back to us as discussed above.

I sincerely hope for the next election in 2022, the issue of COVID-19 will be gone, and we can return to more normal operations. I must commend you all for what I saw during the last couple of elections: adherence to mask use, social distancing and general kindness to our fellow voters. Thank you!

We look forward to serving all our voters! You may contact the Rutland City Clerk’s Office by calling (802) 773-1800 and pressing 5.

Henry Heck is Rutland city clerk.

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