Secretary of State Touches Base In Saint Johnsbury

transparency tour nov 20thSAINT JOHNSBURY- The Secretary of State, Jim Condos visited Saint Johnsbury in his eighth stop of his state-wide "Transparency Tour."

Condos explained the public records act, Vermont's open meeting laws, and detailed different ways Vermont is keeping the state's elections safe from cyber attacks.

 Condos felt this tour would be one way he could build up rapport between the Government and people, after saying trust in the government is, "at an all time low."

 "The public's right to know is enshrined in our Vermont Constitution, said Condos. "By educating municipal and state employees, elected officials, and engaged residents on the requirements of government under Vermont's Open Meeting Laws, and Public Records Act, I hope to help the government officials of all stripes better serve vermont."

According to Condos, Vermont has steadily been increasing cyber security ever since 2013. He told the audience that if a major hack into the state's election system occured today, the system would reset and protect itself, only losing twenty four hours of data.

People who attended the meeting were members of surrounding towns in the area, including laurie gilman, the assistant Town Clerk in Victory, Vermont. While Gilman felt cyber security was important, she felt Burlingtons interest in giving undocumented citizens the right to vote was a more pressing issue. 

"Recently we had a case in Victory itself where since we are so small that people that voted didn't actually live there, they just owned property. People on rolls who don't actually live in the town shouldn't be voting," said Gilman. "They pay out of state taxes, they don't live there, they should vote where they live. And people who arent even citizens shouldn't be voting. I understand he was talking about cyber security and that's good but if these people are getting registered to vote before we can get them into the system, then there's a problem."

The United States Citizen and Immigration Services website says it takes at least five years for a non-married individual to have permanent residence in the U.S. in order to qualify for the naturalization process.