To the editor: Condos revises response to election fraud commission request

On Monday afternoon, The Telegraph received the following statement from Vermont Secretary of State Jim Condos. In it he clarifies, but also revises his response to the request for voter information from a commission set up by President Trump. We find this statement disconcerting. If you would like to know why, read his statement and then our editorial.

Over the weekend I have heard from many Vermonters who have contacted me with their concerns about sending their personal information to President Trump’s so-called Election Integrity Commission. I want to make one thing perfectly clear: Vermont will NOT be complying with the commission’s request for Vermont voters’ private and sensitive information.

Social Security numbers, dates of birth and driver’s license numbers are all off-limits. Protecting the privacy and security of Vermont voters’ most sensitive information is something I take very seriously, and I will not compromise the privacy of Vermont citizens to support the Trump administration’s witch hunt for widespread voter fraud, which has been disproved many times over by non-partisan experts.

Over the weekend we discovered that the commission’s email address for submission of voter data is unsecured. For commission head Kris Kobach and Vice President Mike Pence to think that having sensitive voter data sent in this manner is acceptable is baffling.

I replied to the commission’s request for information asking how this data will be used, transferred securely and stored in a secure manner. I have not received a response, and I refuse to respond or comply with any part of this data request until I receive answers to these important questions. I am working with the Vermont Attorney General’s Office to understand all of our options, and we will take the full amount of time allotted to respond with what information that is already publicly available, if any, will be provided.

The president has used social media to ask what states have to hide about voter fraud, revealing the true purpose of this commission: to rationalize the president’s unsubstantiated claims that 3 million to 5  million people voted illegally in the last election. The answer to his question is quite simple: Vermont has nothing to hide. Vermont has had no complaints of voter fraud in at least a decade. If we did receive one, I would seek aggressive investigation and prosecution under the law as a serious crime and an affront to democracy.

At best, this commission is a waste of taxpayer money, and at worst its true purpose is to champion the president’s false and baseless claims of voter fraud to aggressively pursue a campaign of voter suppression and intimidation.

I will not compromise the security of Vermont voters’ personal data, and my office continues to explore all options available to avoid assisting this sham commission.

Jim Condos
Vermont Secretary of State

 

 

 

 

 

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