By Dave Fidlin | The Center Square
Funds for the fiscal year 2024 budget in the Vermont secretary of state’s office are being allocated to upgrade voting equipment and other functions.
Sarah Copeland Hanzas, appearing Friday before the Senate Committee on Appropriations, discussed her department’s fiscal year 2024 budget and shared her visions for the job. She became leader of the department earlier this year.
Gov. Phil Scott’s proposed budget for the upcoming fiscal year, which begins in June, is $21.75 million for the department. That’s up from $17.7 million.
Scott’s executive budget includes $2.36 million toward election system upgrades, which played a part in increasing the department’s budget amount, alongside a series of other more minor additions and subtractions to specific line items.
As she settles into her cabinet-level position, Copeland Hanzas said her goal is to reinforce in residents’ minds the security of elections.
“We are really focused on the integrity of elections, making sure that voters know how to be registered and how to cast their ballot and make sure elections are safe, secure and accessible,” Copeland Hanzas said.
Vermont’s campaign finance laws were briefly hashed over during the discussion – as were state officials’ measures to ensure processes and procedures under state statute are upheld.
There reportedly have been unclear directives and delineation of duties between the secretary of state’s office and the attorney general’s office in the past over campaign finance issues. Copeland Hanzas was asked to weigh in on that matter.
“I’m not going to look backward and say ‘yes, that did happen,’ or ‘no, that didn’t happen,’” she said. “There’s more work that we can certainly do together, and I’m happy to engage in those conversations as well.”
In addition to doubling down on election integrity, Copeland Hanzas said she aspires to bring another term – “civics” – back into the vernacular for residents of all ages.
In future elections, Copeland Hanzas said her goal is to use the office to help streamline the accessibility of candidate information with voter guides that would be readily available as elections take place.
“It is an initiative over and above what we are already doing,” she said.
Copeland Hanzas also indicated she would like to work with schools across the state and help create civics-related curricula at all grade levels.
“School teachers will have a Vermont-specific, Vermont-relevant, easy-to-use teaching curriculum for civic engagement,” Copeland Hanzas said of her vision. “I would like that to be available to the youngest kids right up through high school.”
6 thoughts on “Copeland Hanzas shares vision for Vermont’s elections”
There is no “security of elections” in the state of Vermont. Secretary of State Condos has assured us of that with ripe-for-fraud mail in balloting. Town Clerks across the state have gone on record stating there is no verification possibility with unrequested mail-in balloting. Ballot harvesting has yet to be made illegal in this state. Our voter rolls are hopelessly outdated and still we waste our time with the failed ERIC (Electronic Registration Information Center). With the liberal counties strangle hold on this state, apathy is the mindset of the remaining rural Vermont voter.
Just what Vermont voters need. A state written, state sponsored Voter Guide.
What could go right with that?
I have to agree we need to clean up the voter rolls in this state. My Aunt died in June of the first year they mailed ballots, she recieved a mail-in ballot that same year in the fall. There has to be a better way for the towns to get this information before election time to make sure people are not voting dead or by using someone elses ballot. The answer is vote in person, we don’t need mail-in ballots, especially with our current mail service and don’t tell me by computer either, anyone knows, that is not safe. I think voter ID would be the best way to show you are who claim to be.
Jeffrey had a very good point about mail-in ballots, doubtful they will go anywhere, but a good start is to GET RID OF ERIC and clean up the voter rolls.
But not a peep or a $ in the budget to even start.
Dominion will rule again.
It’ll NEVER happen, Yirgach. Dems & Progressives crave the power. But they MUST own elections to keep it..and all that follows their way after. They will never get rid of Dominon machins…b/c they can be key to a winning fraud in any tight race. Dems will NEVER clean up voter rolls – where it matters. I believe almost all smaller Town Clerks are on top of maintaining good voter rolls…but that does not matter – because the POPULATION to fraud votes is BTV, Chittenden Countty and surrounding. That is where you win your statewide & national elections . BTV will not clean up voter rolls b/c this is how they guarantee Progressive Dems win. Think of decades long out of state students illegally voting as VT residents from apartments all around BTV. They fraud. Do you honestly think when the graduate they take the time to go to BTV City Hall and say they are going HOME out of state and take me off the VT VOTER ROLLS? THEY WON’T GO to City Hall to remove name b/c what they did was illegal in first place.. I bet BTV would mail ballots to student apts forever :)….BTV is owned and controlled by vicious Saul Alinsky type Progressives. No way will they clean up voter rolls – if it is critical to how they maintain power.
Hogwash & Pablum… “Feel good” Job Justification? COVID was the biggest gift for Democrats & Progressives. They jumped at the chance for “universal mail in ballots” (fraud). In olden days you could only vote by mail as absentee only by showing up at your town Clerk. They gave you a mail in ballot then they CROSSED off your name on the voter checklist and NOT able to vote in person. But universal mail in has no such protection…because there is NO WAY to verify signatures on the ballot. No cross reference, no ID, no checklist….just mail out a couple hundred thousand ballots , and be ignorant enough (liberals) that there will be no cheating. Universal Mail In’s will guarantee that VT will be under Democrat-Progressive rule for decades to come…and they will drive VT into fiscal crisis isoon enough. Wait and see. Numbers don’t lie, Liberals do.
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