Condos opposes federal effort to protect polling places

MONTPELIER — Vermont Secretary of State Jim Condos waded into election integrity issues Tuesday, announcing his fears that a section of a bill moving through Congress could lead to the policing of polling places by armed Secret Service agents.

“I recently learned of language included in Section 4012 of H.R. 2825, which provides for the reauthorization of the federal Department of Homeland Security (DHS), which would allow armed Secret Service agents to enter polling locations at the direction of the president,” Condos said Tuesday in statement.

state of Vermont

Vermont Secretary of State Jim Condos

“To say that I am shocked would be a severe understatement. … This action is more emblematic of a totalitarian government than the democracy that I and other elected officials, including the President and members of Congress, have sworn an oath to protect.”

H.R. 2825, which amends the Homeland Security Act of 2002, is now up for consideration in the U.S. Senate. Regarding Section 4012, Condos urged Congress to “take immediate steps to remove this affront to our democracy.”

According to a DHS summary of the bill, Section 4012 “permits Secret Service agents to protect presidential candidates at polling places.”

Text of the current draft of the questioned amendment to Section 4012 reads as follows: “This section shall not prevent any officer or agent of the U.S. Secret Service from providing armed protective services under Section 3056 or pursuant to a Presidential memorandum at any place where a general or special election is being held.”

Condos said he is “deeply concerned” that lawmakers might allow Secret Service agents to “intrude upon the citadels of our democracy at the discretion of the president, who may also be a candidate in that election.”

Despite being a self-proclaimed champion of voting integrity concerns, Condos has been among the loudest opponents in Montpelier of President Donald Trump’s call to crack down on voter fraud.

Condos said the bill would serve to “weaponize” polling places and make agents “suppress and intimidate voters at their neighborhood precincts.”

Authorization for feds to monitor polling places may be an attempt to prevent activist groups from prior alleged voter intimidation, such as when members of the radical leftist New Black Panther Party were accused of intimidating Philadelphia voters and Republican election monitors during the 2012 general election.

The Vermont Secretary of State’s office has been criticized for its work in attempting to keep elections secure and free of abuse.

In February, the Center for American Progress released a report on election security and gave Vermont a “C” grade.

In addition, a Vermont Superior Court judge issued a ruling in February that led to the removal of 13 percent of the electorate from the voter checklist in the small Northeast Kingdom town of Victory. The case exposed that non-residents from other towns and states had been casting votes simply because they were second-home owners.

During the trial, members of a family from Connecticut who voted in Vermont claimed they got approval to do so from the Vermont Secretary of State’s office, according to public court documents.

In a commentary following the revelation, Rob Roper, president of the Ethan Allen Institute, said the testimony by the defendants reflects negatively on Condos’ management of election issues: “If their (the Connecticut family) testimony is true, the Secretary of State’s office under Jim Condos is actively undermining Vermont’s clearly written election law regarding residency requirements.”

Regarding Section 4012 of H.R. 2825, Condos announced that he and 18 other secretaries of state are asking for U.S. Sens. Mitch McConnell and Chuck Schumer to reject “the harmful proposal.”

“While it is disconcerting that we find ourselves in this position, it is my hope that our members of Congress will recognize this proposal for the true threat to our democratic process that it is,” Condos said.

Lou Varricchio is a freelance reporter for True North Reports. Send him news tips at

Images courtesy of Wikimedia Commons/WastedTime and state of Vermont

17 thoughts on “Condos opposes federal effort to protect polling places

  1. Condos should WELCOME federal marshals at voting places.
    That way they can check if each voter has the proper documents on file, BEFORE the voting takes place.

    Apparently, even in Vermont, there have been significant irregularities in the recent past, as revealed by court cases.
    It likely is just the tip of the iceberg.

    To keep on SAYING all is well and proper, does not make it so.


  2. After a 3-year vetting period in Rotterdam, I finally came to the US in 1955, was in the US Army from 1956-1959, became a US citizen in 1962, lived in Connecticut until 1990.
    I registered to vote in Hartford, VT, in 1990.
    I had to show to the Town Clerk my naturalization certificate and my birth certificate, which was in Dutch, so I wrote a translation.
    The Town Clerk made copies, and said you are registered.
    At the time, I thought this was standard procedure for all towns in Vermont.
    Is that still true?
    If anyone knows otherwise, please let me know.

  3. Isn’t he the same idiot who has no problem with non Vermonters voting in our election process? Thought so.

  4. Mr. Condos , sure everything is above board when it comes to Voting in VT .

    Per his own State web page all you need ot do is ” state ” your a resident ??
    Like no one ever told a ” white lie ” this should be no big deal ……..RIGHT.

    Come to Burlington and see what happens, check out the plates on the cars
    and check out the bumper stickes and what politician they support , yup we
    don’t have a problem !!

  5. Hi Folks

    Before anyone goes off saying that this is a left wing conspiracy, it is important to know that 9 of the 18 signers to the letter to US Senate Majority and Minority leaders were GOP (including some of the most conservative). This is about the potential for federal overreach. If as some have said this is about the protection of an elected official then perhaps the language should be rewritten. As it currently stands, the language is broad and could be used for voter intimidation.


    • Sounds like we could use a little ‘overreach’, Jim. You and your left wing pals don’t seem to care about voter integrity.

    • Makes no difference, Jim that 18 signers are Republicans. You know, as well as I, that there are NO REPUBLICANS in Vermont! Just a bastardized version of Democrats. If any state ever needed overreach, it is this state. With people like you in control….people who are only interested in party politics and the public be damned….its time for a serious overhaul.

  6. Simple, if you let anyone (sheeple) vote, Dems stay in power. If voting is correctly monitored Libs may loose out. The Lib machine won’t allow that. Voting certainly needs to be monitored.

    So, Illegals in VT, welcome DUH?

  7. “permits Secret Service agents to protect Presidential candidates at polling places.” – Seriously, Condos? This is going to compromise the integrity of the polls, infringe upon anyone’s voting rights? Given we have nutcases (like the New Black Panthers at the polls – they’re so radical the Black Panthers disavows any relationship with them) isn’t it reasonable to protect Presidential Candidates when they’re at a polling place? It would be interesting to hear the reaction Condos expressed to the Panther event at the time. It’s not like there are dozens of Presidential Candidates at each polling place. There are also scattered incidences of killer radicals who seek crowded places, particularly with sociopolitical significance and particularly Gun Free Zones. The odds are tiny that it’ll happen when you’re voting, Condos, but do you want to take the chance?

  8. The clear intent of the provision is to counter acts of intimidation by groups like the NBPP at polling stations.
    It’s ridiculous and histrionic for Condos claim otherwise. He would be singing a different tune had recent incidents of that nature involved Klux or neo nazi goons instead of leftists . Or the provision were being proposed in a Democrat controlled Congress under a progressive left administration.

  9. Mr. Condos is on record as allowing non-residents to vote in VT elections, if they have some undefined future intent to perhaps make VT their permanent residence. To me, it sounds like he is in favor of election fraud.

    • Actually, VT-Rider, that is a false statement and I have clearly stated that non-residents (and esp 2nd home owners) are not allowed to register and vote. However, there is a process which was followed in the recent court decision and we support that.

      • Jim Condos,

        Please explain the “process” you are referring to.

        Did it lead to a non-US citizen voting in Vermont?
        Did it lead to a US citizen, but non-permanent Vermont resident voting in Vermont?

        Vermonters are not Vermont citizens, but they are US citizens.
        Vermont has nothing to do with issuing US citizen papers.
        That is strictly a FEDERAL function.
        There is no such thing as a Vermont citizen regarding voting.
        You have to be a US citizen.

        If local voting personnel DO NOT, or are LESS THAN DILIGENT, checking the US Immigration Service-issued naturalization papers of a person wishing to REGISTER to vote, then that local function should be done by FEDERAL inspectors.

        In fact, Town Clerks should be required to have paper copies of US citizen papers in their files for EVERY person registered to vote, and they should be scanned into computers.

        Upon showing up to vote, the clerk views those forms on a computer screen, before giving you the OK to vote.

        No VALID papers, no vote.

        Being AUTOMATICALLY registered to vote after completing a form at the MOTOR VEHICLE BUREAU is a very POOR way to register voters. Town Clerks have no physical or computer records.

        That is far worse than Russia trying to meddle in our elections, to repay the US for meddling in Russian elections over many decades.

    • I believe Condos does not want any investigation of or “interference” in by feds of VT’s lack of oversight and therefore, integrity.

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