Commentary

Condos backs “For The People” bill

By Vermont Secretary of State Jim Condos

Under normal conditions, the new year is a time of reflection on the year past. 2020 was no ordinary year.

Now three months into 2021 we have endured the health, societal, and economic challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic that have rocked our communities. Many people have lost their lives, or their loved ones, along the way. Our country is experiencing the greatest state of political and social discord in recent memory, and we just emerged from the most divided and contentious presidential election that I have experienced during my time in public office, concluding with an open insurrection on our nation’s Capitol.

Political discourse leading up to the election was tainted with disinformation driven by partisan political agendas. Even after November 3rd there were outright efforts in state legislatures to subvert the vote of the people, despite the clear, accurate, and verified election results. The basic tenets of our democracy endure continual debate, but have not been truly stress-tested like this in decades.

Despite these unfounded, baseless and politically motivated attacks from leaders who knew better, our democracy proved resilient. Still, democracy isn’t permanent: it requires continual upkeep and maintenance. I am not alone in wanting to turn our sights to the future with renewed vigilance.

Unfortunately, we are seeing an unprecedented, all-out assault on voting rights in states around the country. According to the Brennan Center, there are 165 bills in 33 states aimed at making it harder for eligible Americans to vote, grounded in baseless and disproven claims of widespread voter fraud. It’s my understanding this number has grown since their data collection, now surpassing 250 bills. This opportunistic gambit is cause for alarm.

Make no mistake, the words “voter fraud” and “voting integrity” are used together to mask voter suppression.

– Jim Condos, Vermont Secretary of State

In fact, the true voter fraud in this country is denying any eligible American the right to cast a ballot.

The 2020 election was the most secure and the most scrutinized U.S. election in recent history, and perhaps ever, according to many non-partisan experts. Local, county and state election officials worked diligently and transparently ensuring the results of the election reflected the votes cast by American voters. These facts have been checked, and they have been rechecked through canvassing, certification, recounts, audits and investigations.

No substantiated evidence of widespread voter fraud or election rigging has ever been produced, and courts around the country have rejected these baseless claims no less than 60 times.

It is time we stopped allowing the opponents of voting rights to use their ‘cry wolf’ tactics to dictate policy. The voting process, including voting by mail, was an overwhelming success by any measure in 2020, allowing a record number of Americans to vote safely in the middle of a global pandemic.

Our charge should not be to defend our democracy, but to strengthen it, and our democracy will only grow stronger when we pass policies that make the democratic process more accessible and more equitable for every eligible American voter.

We need look no further than the state I am proud to call home – Vermont. Automatic and online voter registration helps us meet people where they’re at to register them to vote. Same day voter registration ensures no eligible voter will be denied their Constitutional right to vote on Election Day. Vermonters can vote ‘no-excuse’ early or absentee starting 45 days before election day, and this year we are working with the legislature to expand Vermont’s vote by mail process so that every active, registered voter is mailed a ballot for future general elections.

Voting laws have never been fully equitable in the United States and brave leaders have fought hard to win every voting rights expansion we have seen. The attempts to reverse this march of progress are unconscionable and indelibly stain the very values we claim the United States stands for.

Make no mistake, the words “voter fraud” and “voting integrity” are used together to mask voter suppression.

We can, and must, do better. We can pass bills that grow democracy in states around the country. Congress can lead by doing the same. The For The People Act (H.R. 1) would create minimum voter registration and access standards for states, and I expect Congress to pass this important legislation. They also must act to restore the critical protections for voters the Supreme Court stripped out of the Voting Rights Act in 2013, by placing a moratorium on discriminatory voter registration and rights practices into law.

In 2020 our democracy was pushed to its limits and it survived – barely. Now we must all take these hard-learned lessons and move forward with certainty and resolve.

Voting is the very core of our democracy. Let’s make 2021 the year when we rise up and reinforce that core by increasing access to the ballot box for all qualified voters rather than chipping away at this most important right with anti-democratic policies that make it more difficult for Americans to vote.

Categories: Commentary

14 replies »

  1. That’s right. Can’t have any voter suppression. Especially for those voters who passed away, moved on, just arrived from the southern border, or just appeared out of thin air. After all, the more folks who vote for the ‘For The People’ bill, the more certain it is that it turns into the ‘How to Serve People’ bill. You know…the now infamous Twilight Zone cookbook version.

  2. This guy is a straight up LIAR! There are HUNDREDS of THOUSANDS of instances of voter fraud including, but certainly NOT limited to, allowing some judges to completely alter states’ voting laws & regs as opposed to ONLY their legislature.

    Condos, NOBODY is “suppressing” minorities from voting & you well know it. Who funded your campaigns, by the way? Was it a buddy of yours named George Soros by any chance? Please DISCLOSE….consider this an official “freedom of information” act request.

    Now I shall be the next one investigated & reported to VT Homeland “Security” by the democRat Party here in VT. The first group of innocent citizens were those who oppose the BLM organization or supported MAGA.YEP! Your legislators sent names/addresses to the state police(!) of innocent citizens who had the GALL to write to their reps expressing their dissatisfaction with what BLM was doing & their support of a former U.S. President!!! HOW DARE WE?

    Oh, by the way Condos…I have a whole library of Dr. Seuss books here in my home…..time to have citizens with burning torches swarm my house. See ya there!!!

    Hop on Pop FOREVER MORE!

  3. I’d like to know when and why it became so socially irredeemable, or hard, or uncool, or whatever the excuse is that people are using to justify mail in voting, over voting in person at the polling place. Don’t give me the COVID crap line, this movement to allow people to vote remotely has been brewing for a long time, COVID was just a very convenient, and timely vehicle to institute this not very well thought put process. Maybe I’m the odd one here, but I enjoy going to the polling place, being recognized as one of the people that are legally registered to vote, receiving my ballots, marking them, and depositing them in the machine. The whole process takes about 5 minutes, and what I consider my civic duty is complete. If you don’t have five minutes to cast your vote in a manner that insures that voting is done in a verifiable, and secure manner, in my opinion, you are not taking it seriously enough. I will also say that if you think that it is acceptable for retail merchants to ask for I.D. to sell you tobacco products, alcohol, and firearms, but it should not be necessary to vote, I would say, “boy are your priorities wacked !”

    • OMG! You sir, are a blatant racist, sexist, & a homophobe…..(sarcasm, but of course).

  4. It is not voter suppression for people to want fair and honest elections. I want my vote to count and even only one fraudulent vote eliminates my vote. I would have more confidence in what Sec. Condos is saying had I not received 3 extra ballots not in my name. When I called the Sec of State to report the 3 extra ballots I was flippantly told not to vote with them.

    Over 6000 primary votes had to be thrown out because they were not filled out accurately and Sec. Condos dismissed this as being acceptable.

    Now, at the risk of being called ridiculous, I had great anxiety from voting by mail. I could not watch my mailbox 24 hours a day and I feared somebody would steal my ballot . I wanted to vote in person on election day and I worried I might misplace my ballot or somebody might have voted in my name before I got to the polls. I was very afraid I would lose my vote. You see, I take voting very seriously. I truly believe all the lenient new rules for voting will increase voter fraud.

  5. Aclusium is the first word that comes to mind after reading this article. He is either “without a clue” or has a “handler” telling him what to say, which is probably
    true.
    Insanity reigns in Vermont, but folks take heed, they will be going away soon…can’t wait.

  6. So let’s see if understand …those evil states and citizens are continuing to muddle along with their vaulted “liberty” and, as usual. they’re doing it wrong …oppressing others, tolerating inequality, generally being mean and so we’ll need to use the righteous truncheon of majority rule to have centralized government rescue us from ourselves ..our depravity…because obviously we’d do it wrong if left to our own devises (like liberty, independence, pursuing our happiness). Damn! I feel so relived. You know, while you’re at it, using this logic, I heard rumors that testosterone is completely out of control…the source of all sorts of horrible things happening. Perhaps you can start thinking how we can eliminate testosterone and it’s sources …solve all kinds of problems. What do you say?

  7. Here’s a question for you, Mr. Condos: did you chuckle as you wrote “baseless and disproven claims of widespread voter fraud”?

    As for evidence: there are mountains of affidavits, credible witnesses galore, multiple video instances evidencing suspicious activities, magically appearing, disappearing and shredded ballots, numbers that simply don’t add up (even according to non-partisan mathematical and statistical experts), numerous open and objective recounts denied, on and on.

    I believe you know better than to claim that evidence is “disproven” since no court allowed any to be presented. You certainly know it’s impossible to disprove that which is not even presented in the first place.

    Also, I doubt you actually believe your claims of “baseless” and “disproven.” Rather, it seems you’re comfortably intellectually dishonest and, sadly, brazen enough to make such laughable, false assertions while carrying on as though you have a clear conscience.

    All this notwithstanding your purely partisan, agenda-driven campaign against open and fair elections participated in only by American citizens rightly and provably permitted to vote.

    Perhaps most insulting is your apparent assumption that intelligent, objective people would care to read, let alone believe, your unpatriotic propaganda. Thank you, no.

    Alas, we know better – and so do you!

  8. Dear Mr. Condos, I thought you were a reasonable man. But here, you declare a verdict without ANY input from the opposition regarding H.R.1. Here’s something you can start with… https://www.heritage.org/election-integrity/commentary/hr-1-threat-american-democracy-period. If you prefer a video, watch this…

    . And as for massive voter fraud in the Presidential election, here’s a website created by a successful liberal businessman who didn’t vote for Trump, who didn’t get a dime from Trump, but who has plenty of evidence… https://www.deepcapture.com/.

    I am frankly TERRIFIED that you oversee Vermont’s Elections Division.

  9. This article is typical progressive socialist hogwash. They’ve all got this crazy twitch they do when they lie so it’s really obvious when they are: either their lips move or their fingers type. And you know exactly what they’re thinking and really doing because it’s just what they’re accusing others of doing. So, sorry Jim, you’re a dead give-away again. Your article is just a public proclamation of the massively fraudulent, freedom destroying power grab that is HR1. Jim and the HR1 supporters all know that honest citizens will follow rules and do the right thing even when offered wrongful options. So a voting system that offers so many wrongful opportunities for fraud, like proposed in HR1, only serves to elect those who are dishonest. That’s why they support it. So any of our Representatives and Senators who support this type of legislation are simply proving their status as dishonest crooks.

    • …..Just in case, there might be one or two of us who didn’t realize the dishonest crooks they are. Vermont is in a bad way.

  10. I want every vote to count, including my own. The mass mailing of ballots was not a success like he says. Just ask the town clerks and every Postmaster how messed up it was. WHERE IS MY BALLOT??????? IT NEVER GOT TO ME. WHO HAS IT AND DID THEY USE IT TO VOTE?

    In trying to track down my missing ballot I found out the town clerk received stacks of ballots that were mailed to dead people or at wrong addresses for people who had moved and no longer live here. The Postmaster was inundated with undeliverable ballots. But ballots ended up at addresses that were invalid names. Not everyone is honest. My lost ballot was never found. Did others use invalid ballots to vote? We have no way to know. All the Sec. has done is audit and certify that the ballots submitted were correct numbers. There was no investigation as to whether those votes were valid and the people who submitted them are real and legal voters. The government has refused to fully investigate beyond the number of ballots being valid. So saying there was no fraud is ridiculous when they refuse to fully investigate. They have not seen the cyber security forensics that show how Dominion voting machines were hacked by innumerable hackers from other nations, especially computers in China and Russia, Iran and elsewhere. The Dominion data shows computer addresses of machines hacked and addresses of the computers used. i do not know if Vermont machines were hacked or not. The states targeted were the 6 or so states that have had so many reports of fraud. The hackers changed votes, flipping Trump votes to Biden, dumped large numbers in the middle of the night to Biden. As cyber security experts have uncovered the fraud the government screams louder and louder that there was no significant fraud. But the Dominion data shows just the opposite. According to Dominion machine records Trump did win the election by a landslide. Maybe the government needs to let cyber security forensic experts conduct an official investigation instead of biased politicians who wanted Biden to win. The documentaries demand a massive government official investigation to confirm what they say is true, but the current administration refuses to investigate!

    If there was no fraud, why won’t the government investigate when so many voters are complaining? they do not want to see the truth! It seems to suggest foreigners with help of people in the US decided who won and in reality took over our government with a coup. by hacking our election computers, which should have never been connected to the internet to start with! Every citizen should be very concerned about that!

    The only way to make sure we have valid elections is to require identification to vote. States offer official IDs for people who do not drive. No voting machines should be connected online and paper ballots should always be used to verify votes. Please return to in person voting and allow anyone who cannot get to the poll in person request an absentee ballot in advance, like we have done until now. When you request an absentee ballot from your LOCAL town clerk they can easily validate that you are who you say you are and validate your residence, etc. The state should not be mass mailing ballots or validating whether someone is a registered legal voter. It is not voter suppression to demand illegal voters not be able to vote or to require ID to vote. Every legal citizen has plenty of time to obtain a valid ID and register to vote. I want every legal person to vote but want to protect our election from the fraud!

    Vermont used to have a very safe election process until mass balloting was introduced this year. It may have been prudent the past year because of COVID but it is no longer needed and very destructive to safe secure elections which every citizen should require of its government at every level. And elections are run by states, not the federal government so federal legislation is another example of the feds trying to take away state rights, a power grab by the feds for sure! State legislatures make the laws concerning elections, not the Sec. of State or federal legislators.

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