To the editor: Pamala Smith running for Secretary of State

Hello.  My name is Pamala Smith and I am running as an Independent candidate for Secretary of State.  If I am elected, I will do my best.

I will work toward increasing voter confidence, leading to greater  participation and more significant results.  I will work to make the voting process not one in which all you can do is put your trust in it, but one that shows you why you can trust it.

With me as Secretary of State, when you vote, I would like to provide a format that allows you to actually confirm that your vote was cast and recorded just as you’d intended, for every voter.

I would also like the office to facilitate better working relationships between citizens and Professional Service Providers.  Informed decision making by the consumer and accountability by Professional Service Providers, as well as the Office of Secretary of State, would be increased.

To this end, I hope to initiate two things: The first is establishing a place on our website where consumers can write publicly viewable reviews of Professional Service provision. The second initiative would be to anonymize and publicly post formal complaints made by consumers, even if  the complaint is denied.

Read more about me and my vision for the Office of Secretary of State by clicking here. If I am elected, I look forward to serving the citizens of Vermont in this capacity.

Pamala Smith
St. Albans

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  1. Pamala Smith says:

    Ron – This is Pamala Smith. I am in a hurry right now so don’t have time to reread this. However, If I understand correctly, I will say that I have noted (to myself) that when you send your election ballot in your name can easily be associated with your votes. That has not been brought up at all and if I was elected I’d already intended to address the fact that, barring another solution, or until another solution was devised if need be, at the very least we need to publicize what our checks are on the process to ensure that there cannot be a comparison with names and votes.

  2. Ron Merkin says:

    Having read Pamala Smith’s website texts before watching a video interview with her, I found the second much more informative, specific, and well expressed than the (sorry to say) deplorable sentence structure in her written segment which left me confused re: what precisely she was trying to say. The 100% omission in her writing about how she’d accomplish the goals she vaguely described also struck me as unimpressive. (Again, I thought she did much better re: all this during her spoken interview.)

    But on an unrelated note, I’d like to hear Smith’s thoughts re: citizen privacy. This became an issue when early in his administration President Trump “ordered” all US states to disclose to him the names, addresses, and voting records of every citizen in their files.

    Until then, access to that sort of information was pretty much unfettered in Vermont. But in reaction to Trump’s attempt, Jim Condos and state legislators enacted a bill that tightened access just a little.

    Most likely because the Secretary of State is elected the ability of political parties to easily obtain personal information was not changed at all. It goes without saying that Democrats, Republicans, and other political parties who hope to influence voters – including for the Secretary of State position – would like automatic access as election times draw near. In fact representatives of these parties attended committee meetings about privacy revisions to strongly urge no changes in their cases.

    I’d like to know what Pamala Smith thinks about this. Aware that they’d be running for re-election, did Jim Condos and the legislators who passed this bill not go far enough to protect people’s privacy? (I’d hope for an honest answer as opposed to one that Smith may think might enhance her election chances by writing what she believes I and others would like to hear.) Thanks.