Secretary of State Jim Condos announced Monday that he has designated Vermont Health Connect as a Voter Registration Agency. Secretary Condos plans to work with Commissioner Larson to ensure full compliance with Section 7 of the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 (“NVRA”) to designate any office in the state that provides public assistance as a “voter registration agency”. 42 U.S.C. §1973gg-5(b)(1).
In a letter to the Commissioner, Secretary Condos wrote:
"My designation of the Health Benefit Exchange as a voter registration agency, by this letter, is only the first step in what I hope will be a cooperative effort between your staff and my office to ensure your compliance with the requirements found in the NVRA. Following this designation we intend to work together with the Exchange to help train your personnel on their responsibilities under the NVRA in order to ensure the voter registration process through your Agency is easy and effective. At the outset and on an on-going basis we will ensure your personnel have the supplies and mechanisms in place for the appropriate distribution, collection, and processing of voter registration applications from users of the new Exchange."
Secretary Condos added that: “Voting is a fundamental right and, as the chief elections officer in the state of Vermont, one of my top priorities is to promote the registration of all eligible voters.”
“We are pleased to join the other state agencies that provide public assistance by designating Vermont Health Connect a voter registration agency, said Mark Larson, Commissioner of the Department of Vermont Health Access. “I applaud Secretary Condos’ dedication to ensuring that Vermonters have the resources they need to execute their voting rights.”
Allen Gilbert, executive director of the Vermont ACLU, praised Secretary Condos for his proactive stance. “Vermont is only the third state in the country – New York and California are the other two – to take this action. It’s great that the Secretary of State’s Office is on top of this, and that the Department of Vermont Health Access is working with Secretary Condos to make this happen. It shows the state’s commitment to voting rights.”
Contact: Zoe Newman, 802.828.2148