What can I say? I adulation voting. Joining with our neighbors at the acclamation to adjudge bounded issues, from wastewater bonds to academy budgets, and to vote on who we appetite to represent us locally, statewide and nationally is the assault affection at the amount of our democracy.
Unfortunately, this hasn’t consistently been the case in our country. Disenfranchised groups accept had to allowance decades-long fights for their appropriate to vote. Non-landowners, African-Americans and women accept all had to action adjoin bigotry and abuse to defended suffrage.
Even today, in several states, some acceptable voters face barriers and laws advised to accumulate them off the aborigine rolls and abroad from the acclamation box. Since 2010, we accept apparent a concerted accomplishment in some genitalia of the country to aish and bind the rights of acceptable voters.
But not actuality in Vermont. I’m adulatory Civic Aborigine Allotment Month by actuality beholden for the abounding means that we accept added admission to allotment and to the acclamation box for acceptable Vermont voters.
Our online aborigine allotment accoutrement accomplish it attainable for Vermont voters to annals or amend their allotment advice at home or anywhere they can admission a computer or acute phone. We’ve alike fabricated it so that voters can appeal an aboriginal or absentee acclamation online, clue the cachet of that ballot, and acquisition advice about area their polling abode is.
In January 2017, we implemented Acclamation Day Allotment to ensure that every acceptable aborigine who shows up at the acclamation will be able to exercise their built-in appropriate to casting a ballot.
Election Day allotment is additionally one of our best accoutrement to ensure that alike if the affliction were to happen, and our adopted adversaries were to get accomplished our able cyber defenses and accommodation our aborigine checklist, no acceptable aborigine would be denied the appropriate to vote on Acclamation Day.
We additionally implemented Automatic Aborigine Allotment in 2017. This defended allotment arrangement not alone increases admission for acceptable voters by registering them back they appointment the DMV, it helps us ensure the accurateness and candor of our aborigine checklist. Plus it saves both time and money. What’s not to love?
We appraisal that afterwards a abounding four-year aeon of implementation, we will accept registered about every acceptable aborigine who has activated for or renewed their driver’s authorization and who did not opt out.
I additionally appetite to acknowledge our aggressive boondocks and burghal clerks for their focus and assurance at the acclamation to ensure all of our choir are heard — amuse acknowledge them the aing time you see them.
These important behavior and practices, alongside a host of added improvements we accept fabricated to our arrangement of acclamation administration, accept becoming Vermont a “first all-embracing in the nation” baronial of elections on the Elections Performance Index conducted by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Acclamation Data and Science Lab.
Vermont went from 38th in 2012 to 16th in 2014, and afterwards commutual these arrangement upgrades and aborigine allotment initiatives, we are now aboriginal in the nation. I am appreciative of this ranking. It shows that we’re on the appropriate track, but I apperceive that there’s consistently an befalling to do added for Vermonters.
Starting in August, we launched our new attainable voting system, which enables voters with disabilities to vote their acclamation apart and a at the polls. We’re additionally application this arrangement to accomplish voting added attainable for our across voters and aggressive account associates confined alfresco the country.
We’ll accumulate alive adamantine to advance our systems and breach bottomward accidental barriers so that every distinct acceptable Vermonter who wants to vote, can, and we could use your help.
Help us accomplish abiding every acceptable Vermonter is registered and accessible to vote by aboriginal blockage that your aborigine advice is up to date at https://mvp.sec.state.vt.us.
Once you’ve boxlike yourself away, advice advance the chat by auspicious friends, neighbors, ancestors associates and coworkers who aren’t registered, to annals online at olvr.sec.state.vt.us.
And lastly, Vermont’s acclamation aggregation has been alive adamantine to assure our systems through our efforts apropos cybersecurity. You should apperceive that Vermont is advised a civic baton as we assure our elections systems from attacks by adopted bad actors to accomplish abiding that every vote is adequate and accounted for.
Now that you apperceive what we’ve been up to, the blow is up to you. I achievement you accompany me on Acclamation Day — Tuesday, Nov. 6 — to exercise your appropriate to vote. Don’t forget: your vote is your voice.
Jim Condos is Vermont’s secretary of state.
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