Condos claims Vermont’s elections ‘are safe and secure’

Editor’s note: This commentary is by Vermont Secretary of State Jim Condos.

The big lie, perpetuated by former President Trump and some of his supporters, is that our elections are not secure. These dangerous and disingenuous claims are made without evidence to support them. The former President and his supporters have filed over 60 lawsuits across the country to try to steal the election. All but one were dismissed or ruled against because of a lack of evidence.

Photo courtesy of state of Vermont

Vermont Secretary of State Jim Condos

The claim that mailing a ballot to every active, registered voter will make our election system less secure is grounded in the same unfounded logic, yet the same trumped up voter fraud fearmongering is being used to try and stop S.15, which will make the mailing of ballots to every voter a permanent feature of general elections. In reality, Vermont’s elections process is very secure.

In fact, the MIT Election Performance Index state rankings for 2016 and 2018 ranked Vermont #1 and #3 respectively in election administration.

According to the experts, the 2020 election was the most secure election in US. history, and the most scrutinized. Across the country, interest in and observation of election procedure has never been higher.

As states and voters increasingly relied on vote by mail, we did not see any evidence of increased rates of voting irregularities or election rigging.

What we did see was record shattering turnout despite the health challenges presented by a global pandemic.

Vermont voters overwhelmingly embraced the steps we took to make our elections safe and secure. Over 75% cast the ballots mailed to them early or by mail, and voter turnout was the highest in history.

If enacted, S.15 will make the mailing of ballots to all Vermont voters a feature of future general elections. Its passage received broad support by Republicans, Democrats, Progressive and Independents.

Our democracy is stronger when we all participate. The mailing of general election ballots to all voters will make our elections more accessible for all Vermonters, regardless of political party or viewpoint.

FACT CHECK: Condos’ defense of S.15 riddled with falsehoods and inaccuracies

Voting by mail has been a part of U.S. elections since before the Civil War. Many Vermonters serving active duty in the military rely on it to securely cast their ballots. In the last 10+ years we have seen voting by mail grow substantially here and across the country.

Yet rates of fraud have remained the same: infinitesimally small. In Vermont, Town Clerks referred 7 potential cases of 2020 voter abnormalities to my office. Only one was found to be actionable: a voter attempted to vote twice to prove he could dupe the system. He was caught and his test only proved that the system works. It was reported, investigated, and prosecuted.

If S.15 is enacted, ballots will only be mailed to active registered voters, directly contradicting the ridiculous implication that ballots will be sent carelessly around the state. The Post Office will not forward ballots for people who have changed addresses; those undeliverable ballots will be returned to the Town Clerk.

Advancements in technology and policy have made our voter data more accurate than ever. Online and automatic voter registration provides a constant stream of updates as voters relocate, and we receive data from other states when voters move and register.

For an early ballot to be counted the Clerk must receive it in the certificate envelope, with a signed affidavit that the voter is who they say they are. These envelopes contain other voter data, including a unique identification number and barcode specific to that voter.

These certificates are signed under the pains and penalties of perjury. Voting someone else’s ballot is a crime which carries substantial penalties.

When the Clerk receives a ballot, the voter is checked off the entrance checklist as having voted. Since we track the data for every ballot that is mailed out, if a second ballot shows up anywhere in the state for that voter, we can investigate.

For someone to commit voter fraud, they would need to know where and when to find another voter’s ballot, steal it, perjure themselves by signing the envelope, get it back to the Clerk without leaving a trail, and be certain that the voter will not attempt to vote or that the Clerk will not catch on, while facing severe penalties if caught.

All to change the results by a single vote — it’s just not worth the high probability they would be caught.

In the 2020 general election, we sent ballots out to all Vermont active voters, yet we did not hear of a single instance of voter impersonation.

It would be wrong to lump all opponents of S.15 in with the ‘Stop the Steal’ conspiracy crowd who are using UV lights to search for bamboo fiber on ballots, but the arguments are the same and share a lack of evidence. They also pose the same serious risk: unduly undermining voter confidence in our election process.

Let’s not fall into that trap.

Vermont is poised to become one of the most voter friendly states in the entire country, at a time when legislatures are using conspiracy theories and outright lies to restrict the constitutional rights of their citizens.

We have an opportunity to do better, and to be a beacon for the nation, showing what truly accessible and secure elections look like.

Image courtesy of Public domain

9 thoughts on “Condos claims Vermont’s elections ‘are safe and secure’

  1. Look at what just happened in PENNSYLVANIA

    Election Officials in Pennsylvania Blame “Coding Error” with Dominion Voting Machines for Flaws with REPUBLICAN Votes being Rejected in This Week’s Primary.

    It looks like Dominium is on auto-pilot regarding REPUBLICAN votes.

    Democrat votes were not being rejected. Yikes

    Luzerne County, Pennsylvania Director of Elections pointed to flaws with Dominion Voting Machines for issues in this week’s primary election.

    Ballots labeled as Democrat were popping up on the screen regardless of the voter’s party registration.

    Election officials blamed a “coding error” within the Dominion voting machines.

    Republican and non-partisan voters at Luzerne County polls Tuesday encountered issues while trying to vote.

    Voters were noticing incorrect labeling on electronic ballots in Luzerne County.
    Regardless of party, every voter was seeing a ballot labeled as Democrat primary on the first screen.

    “Unfortunately, this morning, the machines were all shut down and people were losing their patience and leaving,” a voter from Exeter said…

    Officials at several voting locations confirmed ballots labeled as Democrat were popping up on the screen regardless of the voter’s party registration.

    But workers say when the Republican ballots are printed, they do say Republican on the top.

    Luzerne County Director of Elections Bob Morgan says the issue didn’t originate here in northeastern Pennsylvania.
    He told us several times, it was a problem with CODING in the voting machines.

    It took us about probably five weeks.
    We gave a final product to Dominion.
    There is no evidence of any of this problem on the mail-in ballots which were produced from that file.
    We’re still working with Dominion to get an explanation as to how this coding error occurred.
    They were as surprised about it as we were.

  2. VERMONT; An Urgent Job for the Vermont Legislature

    US Constitution, Article 1, Section 3

    The Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each State by the Legislature thereof; but the Congress may at any time by Law make or alter such Regulations, except as to the Places of chusing (sic) Senators.

    The Vermont legislature is entirely responsible for the rules and regulations of federal elections within Vermont.
    The US Constitution does not mention any Secretaries of State or the Executive branch.

    That means the legislature, which was elected by the people, should set up an Elections Committee, responsible for making rules and regulations, and for mailing out ballots, receiving them, and counting them.

    Electing representatives to act as proxies is the “people’s business”, in the spirit of “We, the people….”
    The Executive branch, including the Governor and Secretary of State, plays NO ROLE in elections.

    Why is Vermont not introducing ELECTION SAFEGUARDS?
    Why wait to the last minute?

    Update documentation for each legal REGISTERED voter
    PURGE voter lists of dead people and those who moved out of state.

    That is easy to do.
    Just access Social Security records, tax records, US Census records, etc., and compare with voter lists
    Where there is a will, there is a way

    Methods of Voting

    There are 3 methods of voting:

    1) Appear in person
    2) Send absentee mail-in ballots to Town Clerks
    3) Drop mail-in ballots in drop boxes located throughout various states. Typically, those boxes are unsupervised/unmonitored, which means the “chain of custody” is broken, i.e., in violation of election law.

    Town Clerks, etc., receive those ballots, and are required, by law, to verify, USING DOCUMENTS ON FILE FOR EACH REGISTERED VOTER:

    1) Voter has full signature; not just a scribble
    2) Voter has up-to-date voter IDs; not something 20 years old.
    3) Voter met residency requirements; utility bills, local and state tax bills, driver’s license, car registration, tax returns, social security record.
    4) Address must be physical domicile, i.e., not a parking lot, warehouse, business, PO box, etc.
    5) Residency should be at least 6 months.
    6) Voter is dead or alive,
    7) Voter met age requirements,
    8) Voter is a citizen, i.e., born in the US (copy of birth certificate, preferably notarized) or naturalized (copy of citizen papers)

    After checking all those criteria, Town Clerks, etc., mark the voters as having voted, on registered voter lists.
    The total of such markings is called the turnout, which is reported by Town clerks to State election officials.

    Ban out-of-state students to vote in their school state. They should vote in their own state, via an absentee ballot.

    Ban “no-excuse absent” voting. To qualify to vote Absentee: Voters would have to be:

    1) 75 years old or older,
    2) Absent from their precinct,
    3) Observing a religious holiday,
    4) Physical disabled,
    5) Providing constant care for someone with a physical disability, or
    6) Working “for the protection of the health, life, or safety of the public during the entire time the polls are open”

    Ban automatic voter registration, such a “motor-voter”, which would enable un-documented and non-citizens to vote

    Ban ballot drop boxes, which would minimize “ballot box stuffing”

    Ban universal mailing of absentee ballots: Voters should be required to provide identification when they request an absentee ballot application.

    Election officials and official campaign organizations would be allowed to distribute, but various outside groups and nonprofit organizations would be banned from sending absentee ballot applications to voters.

    Increase poll watcher access: No processing of ballots and subsequent counting of ballots, at any time, without adequate poll watcher observation.

    Ban “brand-new” residents from voting in runoff elections.

    Mandate monthly updates to election officials of voters who have died or moved out of state

    Repeal “permanent-early-voting”, which allows a voter to automatically receive a ballot by mail for every election.

    NOTE: Town clerks have stated they cannot check these criteria, because their records lack sufficient documentation.

    NOTE: Mail-in voting takes fraud opportunities to a whole new level, as was proven during the past election.

    Nine election reforms states can implement to prevent mistakes and voter fraud

    • Condos is the Dem/Prog ideal of an “IMPARTIAL” Secretary of State, who claims Vermont’s elections ‘are safe and secure’

      That statement is big-time crappola.

      Look what happened in New Hampshire.
      NH folks was under the hilarious delusion THEIR elections were safe and secure, until the were not!!!

      NEW HAMPSHIRE; An Urgent Job for the New Hampshire Legislature

      Ensuring fraud-free elections should be a prime concern of all voters, and VT Attorney General Donovan, and Secretary of State Condos.

      Voter ID, with photo, should be an absolute minimum to ensure the person showing up to vote is indeed that person.

      The following should be on file with Town Clerks for each registered voter

      Voter signature
      Passport photo
      Birth certificate
      Proof of legal residence, such as bank accounts, property tax receipts, driver license, etc.
      Proof of citizenship,

      Voter ID, with photo and signature, must be on record with Town Clerks, as a pre-requisite for requesting a mail-in ballot.
      Each mail-in-ballot ENVELOPE must be signed, and dated, by the absentee voter.

      NOTE: Airlines require photo IDs to get on a plane, plus a passport with photo, for international flights.
      It would be dereliction of duty not to require proper IDs for voting.


      However, the COUNTING of the votes is even more important.
      If that counting takes place in Dem/Prog controlled counting centers, staffed by pre-selected Dem/Prog counters/operatives, all sorts of “election results” can be fabricated, as was shown in Windham, New Hampshire in 2020.

      NEW HAMPSHIRE; An Urgent Job for the New Hampshire Legislature

      NH has a perfect opportunity to immediately revise NH voting laws.
      Strictly regulate the circumstances and methods of COUNTING the votes.
      None of the counting machines should be programmable by insiders and outsiders
      None should be connectable to the internet and other computers by means of wired or wireless networks.
      None should have an insertable, programmable electronic card
      Abolish all absentee voting, except for special cases.
      Abolish all ballot drop boxes.
      Abolish motor-voter
      Abolish same day registration and voting
      Abolish out-of-state students from voting. They would not be “deprived”, because they can, and should, vote in their own state.

      NOTE: The Legislature of New Hampshire became Republican, because the “activist student vote” was absent. They likely also voted in their own states. After all, every vote counts!

      Example of MAJOR COUNTING AND BALLOT BOX STUFFING Fraud in New Hampshire

      NOTE: If such COUNTING AND BALLOT BOX STUFFING frauds go on in New Hampshire, they would not happen in Vermont?

      The hand recount of the Windham (Rockingham District 7) New Hampshire House 2020 race revealed Dominion election counting machines under-counted all four Republicans by about 300 votes. Gee, how is this possible?

      This was no a trivial matter. The difference was 1,363 votes out of 10,006 vote cast, 13.63%

      A forensic audit will determine the huge discrepancy between the election day results and subsequent recount of Windham’s November 3, 2020, State Rep. race where a difference of 1,363 total votes from just 10,006 ballots was uncovered.

      NOTE: Late night visit by NH election official, as watched over by NH state police, at 11:15 pm on Wednesday, May 12, to add 4 more boxes with ballots. The Windham Town clerk had signed off on 23 boxes, but now the auditors have 27?

      Why was an associate NH Attorney General, caught on camera, in the building in which were stored the “secured” Windham Ballots, at 11:15 PM, Wednesday night.
      Right after that time, the surveillance cameras GO BLANK for about one hour!!!
      What in hell was she doing with those ballots? See URL

      The Reveal of the COUNTING Fraud in Windham County

      This fraud was revealed, because St. Laurent, Democrat, who lost by 24 votes, challenged the count, and got a recount.
      Soti, Republican, recovered the 297 votes falsely taken from him by sneaky Dem/Prog vote COUNTERS
      St. Laurent, had to give back 99 votes falsely attributed to him by sneaky Dem/Prog vote COUNTERS
      As a result, instead of losing by 24 votes, St. Laurent ended up losing by 420 votes!!! Yikes!!

      St. Laurent must not be glad he asked for a recount, because the recount of the votes of the other 3 Republicans showed each of them had been screwed out of about 300 votes as well, thanks to sneaky Dem/Prog COUNTING shenanigans.

      The thinking of the Dem/Progs must have been: “Heh, this is a close race. Maybe we can flip it”.

      Dem/Progs vote COUNTERS were:

      1) Holding back votes so they would not be counted in a timely manner, and/or
      2) Rigged the vote-counting machines. See URL

      FRAUD No. 1
      Soti, Republican, before recount 4480 votes, after recount 4777 votes, gain 297 votes
      St. Laurent, before recount 4456, after recount 4357, a LOSS of 99 votes
      Margin, before recount 24, after recount 420.

      FRAUD No. 2
      Griffin, Republican, before recount 5292, after recount 5591 votes, gain 299 votes
      Azibert, Democrat, before recount 2787 votes, after recount 2808 votes, gain 28 votes
      Margin, before recount 2505 votes, after recount 2783 votes

      FRAUD NO. 3
      Lyon, Republican, before recount 4786 votes, after recount 5039 votes, gain 303 votes
      Roman, Democrat, before recount 3415 votes, after recount 3443 votes, gain 28 votes
      Margin, before recount 1371 votes, after recount 1646 votes

      FRAUD No. 4
      McMahon, Republican, before recount 5256 votes, after recount 5554 votes, gain 298 votes
      Singueau, Democrat, before recount 2764 votes, after recount 2782 votes, gain 18 votes
      Margin, before recount 2492 votes, after recount 2772 votes

      Candidate Party Machine count Hand count Gain Loss
      Soti Rep 4,480 4,777 297
      St. Laurent Dem 4,456 4,357 99
      Margin 24 420

      Griffin Rep 5,292 5,591 299
      Azibert Dem 2,787 2,808 21
      Margin 2,505 2,783

      Lynn Rep 4,786 5,089 303
      Roman Dem 3,415 3,443 28
      Margin 1,371 1,646

      McMahon Rep 5,256 5,554 298
      Singureanu Dem 2,764 2,782 18
      Margin 2,492 2,772

      New Hampshire Election Results and not Consistent with Biden Winning

      – Republicans flipped the New Hampshire Senate from 14 D and 10 R to 10 D and 14 R, in 2020; a Republican gain of 4 seats
      – Republicans flipped the New Hampshire House from 230 D and 156 R to 187 D and 199 R, in 2020; a huge Republican gain of 43 seats!!

      Yet, Joe-in-the-basement Biden, who was 4th in Democrat primary, and Kamala Harris, who did not make it to the Democrat primary, won the state 52.7% to 45.4% to Trump.

      Derelict Dominion Counting machines are used in 85% of New Hampshire towns.
      Derelict Dominion Voting Systems owns the intellectual property of the AccuVote machines used in New Hampshire.

  3. The absolute truth is that the state does not even attempt to validate the signatures. Anyone who finds a ballot can sign it and drop it one of those ballot boxes around town and it will be counted. No questions asked. And the state can count and recount all the ballots and the numbers will look good.
    The state has no way to find and convict anyone submitting someone else’s ballot.

    • Plus you can make copies of ballots, and VOTE those as well, by dropping them into unguarded/unwatched drop boxes.


      Sure, and the moon is made of cheese

  4. Our elections were safe and secure, have been all my 77 years.
    Not one person was denied a vote or ballot! Absentee ballots were readily available to anyone “on the legitimate check list”. Polling places were open for 12 hours No room for monkey business.

    People who had no knowledge of issues and did not care to make an informed ballot, simply did not vote, Good and responsible decision.!! Not that they were deprived of their voting priveledge!!

    Should we expand the vote to people whose only knowledge is whether their parents voted Democrat or Republican.
    No knowledge of ussues, no interest in who the candidates are, not interested in news, ;latforms, voting records or finances, or honesty, or anything..

    Stupid votes are just that -Stupid and they are counted, Sorry!!!

    Voting Republican or Democrat alone is a dumb, uninformed, useless and harmfull vote!

  5. The 2020 election mail in voting was a BIG mess from the jump. The MAIN reasons is mail in ballots. STOP the insanity!
    I’ll be going to the polling place in person and expect to have a CLEAN ballot waiting for me.

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