1) What position are you running for? Why are you running for this position? I am running for Secretary of State – primarily because I think that things should be done differently in both the Elections division and the Professional Regulation division of the office. I think that even just the fact that both of these functions are served by this office shows how important the role is – and that is not even mentioning the other functions of the office (e.g. the State Archives, Business Registration, Safe at Home, which provides anonymous addresses for victims of domestic abuse, and the storing and dissemination of the Administrative rules of the Agencies of the State).
Many people have been frustrated with the lack of assurance of election integrity. My studies in Information Technology led me to have the idea of providing assurance to voters through a private number (that only they know is theirs) – when the table of results is complete, one column will include the private number. The voters can find their number and confirm that their votes are properly recorded within the collection of votes leading to the final totals.
I think that greater assurance would not only increase voter turnout but that it will also increase the pool of quality candidates.
Regarding professional regulation, because of studies of mine in the past (in both Public Administration and Environmental Studies), I know of the value of regulation in the Public Sector – as one of the purposes of government. In a debate before the incumbent’s (Jim Condos) first term, he asserts that the function of the division is to protect citizens (which is true) but then he concludes that the way to do this is for the service providers (that are being regulated) to just exist here because they are here to protect us. This is working to negate the mandated function of the division – yes having service providers is crucial, but that is not the function of the division, it is to ensure that if any of them are misusing their role and harming patients, then they may not be licensed to work in the state anymore as a result.
I will work to allow the function of Professional Regulation to exist as it should again.
2) You get the call that you won the race, what is that feeling like for you? What’s next? If I get the call that I won the race, I’m sure my eyes will go wide – it will be a huge change for me – but I will also be very excited to fill this role – to have this purpose in my life, and to know that many lost loved ones would be very proud of me (and, hey, even themselves for having played such strong roles).
If I won, What’s Next is a big question. There is a little time before I would begin – I would read material pertinent to the job more thoroughly than I have. I think that it would be expected that I would be doing some analysis and learning in the beginning. What specific purposes do people in the office serve is probably one of the first questions. I’d like to get started almost immediately on making neglected parts of the web interface more user friendly since it is a resource that is being used by the public on a daily basis. As soon as possible, I’d like to talk to people with a vested interest in the backend of the election system and get ready to start talking to people about how we can implement vote confirmation reliably – I have some ideas myself but I also trust others’ experience and judgment (when it makes the most sense). And I will start working on a thorough understanding of the system of Professional Regulation, so that I can do that job properly. I would be establishing relationships where need be. All the while, not neglecting the other divisions of the Office – I would look forward to learning more about them as well.
3) On the other hand, you get the call that you have not won, what is that feeling like? What’s next? I will have two thoughts – 1) This will be an even longer road and 2) I hope that change still ends up being compelled as a result of my campaign. Regarding what’s next, I have continued working in Information Technology at the UVM library throughout my campaign – so what is next is that I put one foot in front of the other.
4) Is there a bigger picture for you in running? Do you plan on this being a steppingstone for you in terms of being a part of the government? There is no bigger picture in terms of me running but maybe you can get a sense from how I ran this campaign that it was not the result of longterm planning – it was instead the result of responding to combined variables with combined skills and experience. I am prepared for a dynamic world but my plan is undefined.
5) What history do you have in politics? I do not have a history inside of politics – but that is not what politics is only about.