Q&A: Candidates for Secretary of State | Election Voter Guide | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

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Q&A: Candidates for Secretary of State

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Published September 27, 2022 at 10:00 a.m.


Sarah Copeland Hanzas and H. Brooke Paige - COURTESY
  • Courtesy
  • Sarah Copeland Hanzas and H. Brooke Paige

The Secretary of State's Office manages trademarks, professional licensing and regulation of business services including data brokers, telemarketers and amusement ride operators. It's also responsible for overseeing Vermont elections. Its elections division maintains a database of lobbyists and one for campaign finance disclosures, and it works with local Boards of Civil Authority to ensure that the checklist of registered voters is accurate.

The current secretary of state, Democrat Jim Condos, is retiring. These candidates are vying to replace him.

Sarah Copeland Hanzas

Age: 52
Town of residence: Bradford
Occupation: State legislator
Party affiliation: Democrat
Website: SarahForVermont.com

What's the most important thing the Secretary of State's Office can do to ensure that Vermont continues to have free and fair elections?

The office will continue to give real-time support and guidance to local elections administrators. Convening a town clerk advisory group will open a conduit to clerks to identify challenges. We will continue our vigilance on election cybersecurity. Regular, transparent review of elections' results will assure Vermonters our elections are fair.

What will be your top priority in office, outside of elections?

I will hire an education and outreach coordinator who will help create civics curriculum for Vermont's schoolteachers. We'll go on a Democracy Tour around the state, to engage with Vermonters on how democracy works and how people can have an impact on what elected leaders do once in office.

H. Brooke Paige

Age: Did not provide
Town of residence: Washington
Occupation: Retired sales executive and retail CEO
Party affiliation: Republican
Website: brookepaige.us

What's the most important thing the Secretary of State's Office can do to ensure that Vermont continues to have free and fair elections?

The Secretary of State has failed to convince voters of the fidelity and security of Vermont's elections. Many citizens have given up on the process. Changing from an open to a closed primary process and adding safeguards to our new universal vote-by-mail process would help to restore voter confidence.

What will be your top priority in office, outside of elections?

The scope of the Office of Professional Regulation needs to be reviewed and narrowed. OPR has expanded beyond its intended purpose of registering and licensing businesses. OPR's regulatory and investigative authority has overreached its purpose and, on occasion, ruined legitimate professionals' careers by delaying investigations for months and, occasionally, years.