Brooke Paige to Condos: 70,000 more on voter rolls than eligible

Editor’s note: This story was updated at 12:45 p.m. Oct. 27.

In a debate forum Friday, Republican candidate H. Brooke Paige said incumbent Secretary of State Jim Condos’ initiatives to increase voter registration have caused the state to sign up 70,000 more people to vote than there are eligible voters.

By the end of the day, however, he retracted his statement, saying he made “miscalculations.”

Vermont is heading into the general election with about 481,111 people listed on its voter rolls, the highest number of registered voters in the state’s history. On the campaign trail, Condos has cited the statistic as proof that newly enacted policies such as automatic voter registration (AVR) and Election Day registration are working as intended.

H. Brooke Paige

But during the debate hosted by VPR’s Vermont Edition, Paige attacked Condos’ record, saying his office has out-registered the eligible-voter population in the state by about 70,000. According to his calculations based on census data, only 407,390 Vermonters are qualified to vote.

“I think actually what we’ll find out is that more people have actually signed up to vote than are qualified to vote,” Paige said.

Condos, apparently surprised by the challenge, responded that there is no evidence to support Paige’s claim. He added that the voter registration system was updated in 2015 and is very robust, and that it’s largely the role of town clerks to keep voter rolls clean and accurate.

“The town clerks are hardworking. They do a tremendous amount of work, and we are proud of the voter checklists and the work that they do around elections,” Condos said.

Paige said once you subtract people under age 18 and non-resident adults (visa and green card holders), that leaves far fewer eligible voters than Condos has suggested.

Condos responded that he thinks the numbers are wrong.

Photo courtesy of state of Vermont

Vermont Secretary of State Jim Condos

“Just his age 0-18, just look at what we have for school age population right now so his number is very inflated around that,” he said. “We estimate that around 520,000 are actually eligible to be on the checklist, and we currently have about 482,000.”

Paige responded that his census estimate is conservative, and that the Vermont Department of Health statistics say the state has 118,000 residents under age 18.

Condos then went back to talking about his priority to protect Vermonters’ voting rights. The secretary of state has promoted a variety of other voter accessibility policies including online voter registration and early and absentee voting.

“I’m proud of the work my office has done working in conjunction with the legislature and with the governors,” he said.

Late Friday, however, Paige retracted his challenge, saying his numbers were wrong. He now estimates Vermont has 497,394 eligible voters.

“The problem is not quite as epic as my initial miscalculations seemed to indicate,” he wrote in an email to True North.

According to official state registration data, there are around 16,000 more eligible voters for this election than in 2012. As of mid October, there were 481,111 residents on Vermont’s voter rolls, amounting to 92.5 percent of the state’s 520,000 eligible voters.

State Sen. Chris Pearson, P/D-Chittenden, also praised the boosted numbers, tweeting “it’s rare to pass a bill and then get clear cut evidence of it achieving its goal.”

If Vermont has more registered voters than people eligible to vote, it wouldn’t be the only problem encountered by states that adopt policies like automatic voter registration through the Department of Motor Vehicles.

Elections expert Bev Harris, founder of BlackBoxVoting.org, told True North that automatic registration “fairly regularly” puts noncitizens on the voter rolls.

That glitch appeared in Vermont as soon as automatic voter registration was implemented at the start of 2017.

“Green card holder and Burlington resident Luke McHale was one of those affected by the glitch in the DMV system,” the Burlington Free Press reported back in February 2017. “McHale’s wife, Becca, said Thursday her husband was surprised to pick up the mail and find a letter from the Burlington city clerk’s office saying he was now registered to vote.”

The Orange County Register said Vermont’s DMV registered 1,500 voters by mistake, including noncitizens.

On the Fox News program Tucker Carlson Tonight, host Tucker Carlson highlighted a similar problem in Texas, a state that requires drivers license applicants to check a box on an application form to register to vote.

“According to the Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton found when they investigated just four of the state’s 254 counties, they [found] 165 unlawfully registered voters, noncitizens, had to be removed from the voter rolls. It was estimated that over 100 illegal votes were cast before they were purged from the rolls. Which kind of makes you wonder what’s happening in the state’s other 250 counties,” he said.

Duplicates on the checklist

Harris said motor voter registration also can lead to names showing up more than once on voter rolls.

“There are significant problems with merging two data bases — then overlap will occur,” she said.

She explained that if someone already registered as a voter goes to the DMV and updates name spelling with any change from the original, it creates a duplicate voter registration.

“You’re gonna end up with a bunch of extra people on the list,” she said. “If you are an insider then you can pull out those extras that aren’t really voters, and you can cast absentees in their names.”

Michael Bielawski is a reporter for True North Reports. Send him news tips at bielawski82@yahoo.com and follow him on Twitter @TrueNorthMikeB.

Image courtesy of H. Brooke Paige
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22 thoughts on “Brooke Paige to Condos: 70,000 more on voter rolls than eligible

  1. Vermont Democrats can do better than 92.5% voter participation, it seems they would be delighted with 127% voter participation.

  2. As you will learn in my OP/ED below the figures I found were CORRECT but the math went sideways in Microsoft EXCEL – in the end there is a significant disparity between Jim’s rosy scenario claims and the reality that his numbers just don’t add up !

    SOMETHING JUST DOESN’T ADD UP !

    In recent days; Vermont’s Secretary of State, Jim Condos, has been touting the fact that his Election Office has signed up over 92.5% of all eligible Vermont residents for a total of 481,111 voters. When I first saw Jim’s brag, something just seemed wrong – how could a state that struggles to get Election Day participation above 50% suddenly achieve this remarkable registration result ?

    I decided to dig into the numbers. I first needed to determine the total number of “inhabitants” in the state – the U.S. Census Bureau informs that there are 623,657 people in Vermont, this includes everyone – children, citizens from other states, “undocumented” aliens as well as foreign citizens holding green cards and visas. The next step was to subtract those who cannot vote from the total: individuals under 18 years of age 116,623 (U.S. Census) and Foreign Adults holding Green Cards and Visas 9,640 (Migration Policy Institute) leaving a net total of 497,394 eligible individuals. Jim Condos claims that this number is about 520,000 but fails to explain how he has arrived at his higher figure. Using the actual 497,396 figure means Jim’s Election Division hasn’t achieved a “mere” 92.5% participation rate rather an unbelievable 96.7% participation rate !

    This rosy scenario, fails to consider the fact that in order for even this lower 497,396 figure to be valid that nearly all 12,000 of the Vermonters with Dementia and Alzheimer’s, nearly every one of Vermont’s 1,229 incarcerated prisoners, a good portion of the estimated 4,000 illegal aliens residing in Vermont and virtually every one of the 62,000 Vermonters (about 10%) that have chosen not participate in politics and register to vote in the past – all must be included in the count.

    Something just doesn’t add up and that something is the big question of exactly who is being counted as eligible citizens and who are these newly registered voters. We’re not talking about a few hundred names that slipped by some local town clerks and their Boards of Civil Authority – this is a big number in question, over 70,000, and the query is “is this real voter fraud or just an administrative screw-up?”

    So the next time you hear Vermont’s Secretary of State bragging about how close the state is to reaching 100% voter registration, ask yourself if this is a really great accomplishment, or just an indication of a really big problem ?

    H. Brooke Paige
    Washington, Vermont

    • “We’re not talking about a few hundred names that slipped by some local town clerks and their Boards of Civil Authority – this is a big number in question, over 70,000, and the query is “is this real voter fraud or just an administrative screw-up?”

      Whether through incompetence or fraud neither is a desirable outcome,reminds me of some of the past Marxist election results where the candidate,shall we call him received 100% of the vote.

    • H.Brooke Paige,

      Condos and his 100% voter registration, I’ll go with the ” indication ” of a really big problem !!!

  3. Just wait a minute…

    First, it is important to note that US Census Population estimates are only just that… estimates.
    And the VT DoH uses the Census to base their estimates on.

    As I stated during the debate, I disputed HBP’s numbers. It now appears that HBP made an error in subtraction of 100,000.

    And lo and behold, within about an hour, Bob Kinzel (VPR) issued the following tweet…
    _____________________________________________________________
    Bob Kinzel @VPRKinzel

    GOP SOS candidate Brooke Paige admits to BIG math mistake on VPR debate. He claims there are 70,000 “unqualified voters” based on his estimate that Vt has only 407,000 possible voters but Paige now says the number is actually 497,000 virtually eliminating the problem #VTpoli

    2:18 PM – 26 Oct 2018
    ________________________________________________________

    It now appears my estimated numbers are closer to reality than HBP.

    • Orange county register still had 1500 people that weren’t supposed to vote. Brooke admits when he’s wrong. It would be nice to hear that perhaps our system is not perfect rather than defense from out government officials that all is perfect in Vermont. Because clearly Vermont is not perfect.

      Steve Allen and his wife leaving below is a perfect example that is taking place across our state, fine people and families leaving the state.

      We aren’t affordable, our school funding is a nightmare and we have a very serious drug problem that lead us to the distinction of being the leading state in the nation for addicted births.

      Yet if you talk with the majority in Montpelier everything couldn’t be better. It’s just not true.

    • Jim,

      So you are now admitting you estimate was off by over by over 22,606 ?

      Further for the 497,396 to hold true nearly all 12,000 of the Vermonters with Dementia and Alzheimer’s, nearly every one of Vermont’s 1,229 incarcerated prisoners, a good portion of the estimated 4,000 illegal aliens residing in Vermont and virtually every one of the 62,000 Vermonters (about 10%) that have chosen not participate in politics and register to vote in the past – all must be included in the count. It is doubtful that even a majority of these folks, totaling 79,229, have registered or intend to register so in addition to the 22,606 you have conceded there are still lots and lots (thousands) who most probably shouldn’t be included in the count – pushing your participation rate to 100% and beyond !

      Looks Like Something Just Doesn’t Add Up !

      H. Brooke Paige
      Washington, Vermont

    • Jim fails to reveal that I sent the corrected figures to both Bob Kinsel and to his Director of Elections Will Senning with the following note !

      Will,

      As I was driving home, I kept thinking that if the figures were that bad,
      who wins the SoS election was the least of Vermont’s problems. Thank
      Heaven they are not !

      Attached are the corrected calculations !

      The problem is that even with the correct math (the figures ARE correct)
      you still come up with a registered voter number of 96.7% which means if
      Elections signs up another 16,283 – Vermont would have 100% voter
      registration.

      Given that there are many citizens who do not wish to participate and
      those who are mentally unable to vote – something is definitely wrong !

      Fortunately, the problem is not quite as epic as my initial miscalculations seemed to indicate!

      All the Best,

      Brooke

  4. You should have to provide some form of identification with a picture to vote. Divers license/passport etc. You should also have to provide the same ID to obtain the form to vote by mail.
    It would be so easy and would stop all voter fraud but the democrats and progressives (same thing) always stop this for they want all the illegal voters they can get because they are the providers of all the free stuff. It’s that simple..

  5. Democrats couch all of their corrupt practices in the fable of being good for the public. There is no better example than their faux belief that voter ID laws prohibit certain groups from voting. Moreover, if voting is as important to someone as it should be, they would take the necessary action to obtain the proper credentials to vote. Democrats care about one thing, and one thing only. Power. Every time you cast a vote for a democrat, you are casting a vote for corruption.

  6. Placing a Sentry at the Gate
    Regional Planning Commissions were established in Vermont about 50 years ago and were defined as “non-taxing political subdivisions of the State of Vermont”. Towns are not required to participate with them but most do, perhaps in part because they are enticed by the Grant programs they administer to Municipalities. We can presume they were established to help our Cities and Towns plan, but in reality they have become portals that allow access where influence and control can easily be installed because of their working relationship with local Municipalities.
    Participating Municipalities are required to submit a Town Plan to their Regional Commission every 8 years for certification that adheres to State guidelines. To prepare this document most Local Planning Commissions obtain a grant and hire their Regional Commission to help them complete this task fearing they may need guidance to be in compliance.
    The Regional Commission in turn will take great pains to insist this is your plan, even holding a community event to solicit your ideas and input and will actually be happy to write much of the draft for you, but the Local Commission must approve it so any Regional fingerprints are removed. However for all the effort to make Town Plans seem unique and constructed from original ideas, when compared to others most seem to have the same content and wording.
    After the Local Commission has approved the plan it goes to the Select Board or Legislative Body for a public hearing and ultimately their approval, but what happens next?
    If the voters have concerns will they be addressed?
    Or does the select board have a Grant pending with the Regional commission, and a conflict of interest?

    Unless the Town uses the Australian ballot, voters are shut out from making this decision, even if the Board is willing to listen to their concerns!

    When voters are Shut Out of determining how new rules and projects would affect their personal property rights and values, they are placed in the awkward position of only being able to react after a burden has been placed on them. This puts them at great disadvantage forcing them to appeal by petition instead of being allowed to vote their will up front.

    But advantage is freely given to groups such as our Regional Planning Commission, they currently have easy access and the ability to insert special interest agendas into local bylaws without full scrutiny by the people their actions impact most, the voters and property owners of Vermont Towns and Cities.
    Both Regional and Local Planning Commissions have become a gateway through which access is given to special interest at almost every Municipality in the State, thus leaving their voters shut out of the process and in a position of having to react after the fact unless they are approving Town Plan and Zoning changes by Australian ballot. The use of the Australian ballot is a form of direct governance that puts a sentry at the gate and helps monitor agendas while giving voters more control over their own destiny. It also lessens the chance that a conflict of interest will occur between Towns and their Regional Commission causing unnecessary or adverse burden on the people.
    When the people are not trusted enough to be allowed to vote, their rights and standard of living are surely being trampled on, under these circumstances collaborative cronyism may exist and the people will not be heard by their officials nor will they be represented, unless the Australian ballot is allowed to stand as a Sentry at the Gate.

    H. Brooke Paige as Secretary of State would also be a Sentry to make sure Voter Access is not being denied by interpretation of vaguely crafted laws, he has my support!

    • One of the best comments we’ve seen on the internet, very insightful. We need people like you on our team.

    • “The Regional Commission in turn will take great pains to insist this is your plan, even holding a community event to solicit your ideas and input and will actually be happy to write much of the draft for you, but the Local Commission must approve it so any Regional fingerprints are removed.”
      This “event” is when the Delphi Technique comes into play. Discussions, if you can call them such, are dominated and molded to achieve a desired end result.

      Has no one heard of Agenda 21? or Rosa Koire, whose well written book, “Behind the Green Mask” explains what is happening there?

      Bev Harris — link to her website in article text– has done in depth research on voter fraud and the good sense of valid voter ID, which would remove the Cheshire Cat smile from the faces of a bunch of poll workers you might mention the topic to.

  7. Let me preface what I am about to write by saying that my wife and I, after 3 years of work, are headed South to seek political asylum from the Socialist Republic of Vermont. So, I’m in our town office and tell them I want my name taken off of the voter list as we are moving the day after the election and I do not want someone coming in and using my name to vote. She tells me that when I register to vote in Tennessee, TN should contact VT and let them know. I said I don’t trust the government’s ability to communicate such things. She makes a disparaging remark about TN’s ability to do this. I tell her at least TN has a voter ID law and she says something to the effect that the town knows everyone and we don’t need that. More times than not when I tell someone we are moving to TN, they make off color comments about the people or some stupid story they heard from someone about the South. Here in VT it’s OK to put down Southerners, but God forbid you say anything about peoples color or gender identification. They hypocrisy of the Left is unbelievable.

    • Welcome to Tennessee! We ain’t perfect but have a fairly descent state government that must balance the budget each year and no state income tax. Our sales tax is 9.25-9.75 depending which county you live in.

    • Steve I extracted myself from VT two years ago and am kicking myself that I didn’t do it sooner. My 3 kids all in school are getting a much better education and my wallet appreciates the ~30% cost of living decrease. Low and behold now I have a collage account for my kids. Something that was only a pipe dream in VT.

      You’ll be so much happier, and it’s almost comical watching what is happening in VT from a distance, because you know your not going to be the one bearing the brunt of the Left’s charades.

    • “The town knows everyone.” That there is insight into how arrogant and deluded these officials are.

  8. Burlington owns it’s politicians, Burlintin’s 85,000 residents dictate how the other 575,000 Vermonters live. What else do we need to know?

  9. So this is how Democrats been winning every election for yrs..Sanders, Leahy Welch, always wonder how those 3 kept winning, especially the bank fraud Sanders.. Now we know..Vermont has turned into a liberal state, illegals can vote, they come first, students can vote, felons can vote, Its been proven there’s voter fraud all over the US but never thought it would be in Vt. Well. the liberals want Vt to be like NY, CA and DC..guess they are getting their way.

  10. Seeing as how Illegal Aliens are the Commiecrat base of course they don’t have a problem with it.

  11. H. Brooke Paige apparently you don’t understand the Progressive DemocRATs way of
    counting voters.

    It doesn’t matter if you are legal to vote, you vote !!
    It doesn’t matter if you moved or not, if you’re on the books
    you vote, well someone will vote for you !!
    It doesn’t matter if you Died, yup someone will vote for you.
    It doesn’t matter if you’re a student from another state, you
    can vote here & at home.
    It doesn’t matter if you own property here and another state
    you can vote in both places.

    Jim ” Head in the sand ” Condos……. doesn’t see any problems
    with our voting system.

    You should have two forms of ID ( driver license & Utility bill ) and
    prove you’re a legal resident………………

    Nope, not as long as Progressive DemocRATS are in charge.

    • A utility bill can be hard to get if you rent and utilities are included.
      But I like the driver’s license, which I have to use to buy beer though I’m over 60.
      I also like the “purple finger” ID used in Iraq. just a recorded ID for proof.

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