To the editor: Condos responds to Trump request for voter info

My office has received a request from President Trump’s Election Integrity Commission to provide voter information – including dates of birth, Social Security numbers, and other personally identifying information.

While it gives me pause to enable the work of this commission in any way, I am bound by law to provide our publicly available voter file, but will provide no more information than is available to any individual requesting the file.

I wholeheartedly disagree with premise of this commission: namely, that there is widespread voter fraud. There is no evidence of the kind of massive fraud alleged by President Trump, Vice President Pence or Secretary of State Kobach.

I believe these unproven claims are an effort to set the stage to weaken our democratic process through a systematic national effort of voter suppression and intimidation.

In a statement released on May 12, I made clear that the true voter fraud is denying any eligible American the right to participate in our democracy and cast their vote. Voter suppression through unnecessary restrictions to the ballot box are not the American way.

This commission is a waste of taxpayer money unless it focuses on the real issue of election integrity – the attempts by foreign entities to influence our elections.

My focus is to protect Vermont citizens from bogus attacks on our democracy. I will not release any more information about Vermont voters than is available to any citizen requesting our voter file. Under Vermont law, the motive or identity of the requestor is not grounds for denying a request for a public record, so of course we must comply to meet the law.

However, Vermont law does require that anyone requesting the voter file is required to sign an affidavit stating that the file will not be used for a commercial purpose. As soon as the chair of the commission provides us with that affidavit, we will provide the file, which DOES NOT and WILL NOT contain dates of birth, driver’s license numbers or Social Security numbers.

If this commission is truly interested in the integrity of elections, I suggest they start first by examining at least a dozen other more meaningful issues regarding our electoral process:

  • Foreign interference and attacks on our voting systems;
  • Election Assistance Commission Funding;
  • Help America Vote Act 2 – provide funding to states;
  • partisan gerrymandering;
  • updating election equipment;
  • automatic voter registration;
  • Election Day voter registration;
  • requiring paper ballots;
  • requiring election audits;
  • providing expanded early voting opportunities;
  • voting by mail;
  • eliminating unnecessary voter ID laws that deter eligible voters;
  • more convenient and accessible polling places; and
  • reducing long lines and wait times at polls.

Sincerely,
Jim Condos
Secretary of State
Vermont

 

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  1. Hi Lori,
    The next to the last paragraph in the letter may explain why Condos must send the information and at the same time allay your fears about more sensitive info:

    “However, Vermont law does require that anyone requesting the voter file is required to sign an affidavit stating that the file will not be used for a commercial purpose. As soon as the chair of the commission provides us with that affidavit, we will provide the file, which DOES NOT and WILL NOT contain dates of birth, driver’s license numbers or Social Security numbers.”

    The Telegraph spoke with the secretary’s office this morning and learned that other information requested – party affiliation, felony convictions, military status etc – are not collected by the State of Vermont. As to the unsecured method for sending the information, Secretary Condos might take a page from President Trump who has said he does not send information by computer, but rather in writing by a courier.

  2. Lori Larue says:

    It’s my understanding, after listening to the interview with KY Secretary of State that they want you to send the data via a non secured method. So why are you transmitting SS numbers. Secondly, listen to the interview on VPR with the KY Secretary of State for the reasons she is not sending the data. It makes perfect sense. Please do not send it!!! AND do not send personal data over the wire if it’s not a secure site and encrypted.

  3. Janet Barrille says:

    Thank you Secretary Condos!

  4. Brian says:

    So it seems a few people have information that there has been no voter fraud except from Putin. Strange, how did these facts come about? I’d like to see these facts and how were they found.

  5. Welthy Myers says:

    Three cheers for Secretary Condos! Let’s hope that his counterparts throughout the county will be mindful of his excellent statement on the right to vote. Where it is allowed, let’s hope that Secretaries of State will refuse to share this information with the commission. The only fraud that was committed in this election seemed to have come from a foreign government and from state officials trying to limit voting access to their citizens by a variety of tricks such as limiting voting hours, requiring excessive documentation and reducing the number of available polling places. I am grateful to live in Vermont!

  6. Maya Drummond says:

    Thank you Secretary Condos for your courage to stand for what is right. The only voter fraud that was committed in the 2016 election was by Putin’s people who did what they needed to put their puppet “president” Trump into the office he holds now. We are losing our democracy right in front of our eyes. Those who are controlling Trump are hoping to get enough information to quell future resistance as they attempt to take more and more freedoms away from us so that we will be subject to governmental control over everything we do and say. This is just the beginning. And it is a very scary time in our country. Thank you for your integrity and courage.

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