September 2006 Press Releases
Secretary of State Unveils Newly Designed Website for Kids - September 11, 2006
Secretary of State's Kids' Page Promotes Civics Education and Teaches Students about Vermont
Honor A Vet With Your Vote Is Launched This Election Season - September 20, 2006 Secretary of State Markowitz Joins Vermont National Guard Members To Promote Voting In Honor Of A Veteran
Secretary of State Serves on National Panel
- September 22, 2006
Secretary of State Testifies Before the
Senate Armed Services Committee
- September 28, 2006
Vermont Secretary of State
For Immediate Release:
September 11, 2006
Secretary of State Unveils Newly Designed Website for Kids
Secretary of State’s Kids’ Page Promotes Civics Education
and Teaches Students about Vermont
Montpelier. Today, Secretary of State Deb Markowitz unveiled a new website designed to promote civics education and teach children about Vermont’s unique history, culture, government and geography.
The state of the art website, found at www.sec.state.vt.us, includes everything from information about Vermont’s sea monsters, to a new animated video to teach high school students how to vote. Markowitz said, “We are excited about our new Kids’ Page. It is fun, interactive and full of great information.”
In the past year, the Secretary of State’s Kids’ Page received over 50,000 visitors and over 600,000 hits. Markowitz expects even higher numbers to visit the newly updated website. Markowitz said, “Not only do Vermont students, parents and teachers use our kids’ page, but our website is visited by students and teachers from around the country who use the site to learn about Vermont. We expect that during the coming school year more students and educators than ever will take advantage of this great resource.”
“By making the site more interactive and graphically exciting,” Markowitz added, “we are hoping that the kids who come to the site will stay longer and take advantage of the rich content that is offered.”
The Secretary of State’s Kids’ Page provides information about Vermont’s symbols, history, government and geography. It includes an online poll and a Vermont quiz, and it highlights the many civics programs offered by the Secretary of State’s office.
Markowitz said, “During this time of year teachers use the site to prepare for the Vermont Votes for Kids mock election program. They can print off curriculum material and order materials for use in the classroom, including our new board game about campaigning for political office, On the Road to Congress.” Markowitz added, “The Reader’s Corner is used by school librarians to promote books that are set in Vermont, and allows students to conduct interviews with Vermont authors and submit book reviews. Preschoolers enjoy the coloring book of Vermont symbols.”
The website is also a convenient way for parents, teachers and students to order the popular booklets Vermont History Facts and Fun and The Adventures of Bill: A Real Life Account of How A Bill Becomes A Law.
You can visit the Secretary of State’s new Kids’ Page at www.sec.state.vt.us/kids/index.html.
Honor A Vet With Your Vote Is Launched This Election Season
Burlington. Today, Honor A Vet With Your Vote kicked off its 2006 campaign at the Church Street Marketplace. Vermont Secretary of State Deb Markowitz joined Vermont National Guard members, including Williston Town Clerk Deb Beckett, to talk about the importance of honoring our nation’s veterans. Markowitz said, “During this time in our nation’s history where our service men and women are making such strong sacrifices, it’s important that we remember our veterans when we go to the polls on election day. The Honor A Vet With Your Vote program is one way to do just that.”
The Honor A Vet With Your Vote program provides personalized buttons to voters who wish to cast their vote in honor of a particular veteran. During the 2004 elections, more than 2,000 veterans were honored in this way! Buttons are being distributed through veterans’ organizations, civic organizations such as Rotary and Kiwanis Clubs, family reunions and Town Clerk’s Offices. They are also available by visiting the Secretary of State’s website at www.govotevermont.com.
Deb Beckett, Williston Town Clerk and Vermont National Guard member said, “This program is very meaningful to those of us serving in the military. It helps remind people of the tremendous contributions our nation’s military is making presently and have made in the past.”
Secretary of State Markowitz adds, “This is an opportunity for Vermonters to recognize those who have proudly served this country and worked to keep our democracy strong so that we have the right to vote! Thank you for your help in honoring our nation’s veterans.”
For more information about this program contact Janel Johnson at 802-828-1296 or visit the Secretary of State’s website at www.govotevermont.com
Secretary of State Deb Markowitz to Serve on National Panel to Discuss Status of Election Reform Efforts
Today, Vermont Secretary of State Deb Markowitz will be speaking in the nation’s capital about what can be expected across the country in the upcoming elections. Markowitz said, “Across the country we have made many great strides in implementing the Federal Help America Vote Act (HAVA), but many challenges still remain.”
Markowitz will be joined by Elections Assistance Commission Chair, Paul DeGregorio as well as other experts in election administration and law in addressing the American Enterprise Institute (AEI)-Brookings Election Reform Project.
The AEI-Brookings Election Reform Project is a nonpartisan, collaborative effort to encourage improvements in election conduct and administration. Important goals of the reform project are to better inform policymakers, to provide a more comprehensive view of election reform changes among the national policy community, to raise the profile for election reform issues within Washington, and to improve coordination among groups and researchers around the country.
Today’s conference is occurring from 8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. at the Wohlstetter Conference Center, 1150 Seventeenth Street, N.W., in Washington, D.C. Shortly after the event occurs, a video webcast will be available on the AEI website at http://www.aei.org/events/eventvideo_list.asp. More information about the AEI-Brookings Election Reform Project is available at http://www.electionreformproject.org/.
September 28, 2006
Contact: Ginny Colbert (802) 828-2148
Secretary of State Deb Markowitz to Testify Before Senate Armed Services Committee
Today, Vermont Secretary of State Deb Markowitz will be in the nation’s capital to testify before the Senate Armed Services Committee about military voting and the Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP). Markowitz, who is currently serving as the president of the National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS), said, “There is no more precious right in a democracy than the right to vote. Secretaries of state and elections officials across the country are working together to ensure that our military and overseas voters have every opportunity to participate in our elections.”
Markowitz described how Vermont works to accommodate its military and overseas voters. She said, “We have found ways to be flexible, within the context of our state laws, so that ballots can be faxed or e-mailed overseas so that there can be a great chance of them being voted and then returned to Vermont by Election Day so that they can be counted. We have a special page on our website for overseas and military voters so that they can have easy access to all the information they need to register and vote by mail.”
Markowitz was optimistic that voting will get easier for overseas and military voters in the future. She said, “Looking into the future we are hoping that technology will provide additional solutions to permit our service men and women, and our overseas citizens to vote easily and quickly.”
Markowitz touted the IVS Vote-By-Phone system that is currently being used in Vermont to permit voters with disabilities to vote by calling a special phone number that permits voters to mark a paper ballot using the telephone key pad. The ballot is printed out in the Elections Center, and is then counted with the rest of the ballots on Election Day. Markowitz said, “I believe that this technology holds great promise for use by our overseas and military voters. We have encouraged the FVAP to consider whether this innovative technology could be broadly deployed to solve what is a serious problem for our service men and women and for our overseas citizens.”
Markowitz will be joined by the Honorable David S.C. Chu, Undersecretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness; the Honorable Paul DeGregorio, Chairman of the United States Election Assistance Commission; and Mr. Derek B. Stewart, the Director of Military and Department of Defense Civilian Personnel Issues of the Government Accountability Office.
Today’s testimony begins at 9:30 a.m. in the Hart Senate Building in Washington, D.C. A copy of Secretary Markowitz’s testimony is available on the Secretary of State’s website at http://www.sec.state.vt.us/secdesk/commentary/2006comm.html.
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