Deb Markowitz was elected Vermont's 37th Secretary of State in
1998. Although she had never run for elective office before, Deb
beat a two term incumbent to become the first woman to be elected
Secretary of State in Vermont.
Deb has a distinguished record of achievement. She is widely
recognized for making it easier to start and expand businesses in
Vermont. She eliminated a backlog of professional licensing
complaints in the Office of Professional Regulation and she
strengthened the office's prosecutions to protect Vermonters from
neglect, fraud and abuse.
Deb has made it a priority to improve Vermont's democracy and
promote good citizenship. She successfully and economically
implemented an ambitious election reform agenda, making it easier to
vote and harder to cheat in Vermont. Vermont's innovative approach
to meeting the needs of people with disabilities without using
controversial computer voting machines is a model for the rest of
the country. By relying on state employees rather than costly
contracts to build and implement a statewide voter registration
database Deb was able to put 11 million dollars of federal grant
money into an elections trust fund to help offset the costs to our
cities and towns of future changes to our election systems.
Deb believes in the power and responsibility of citizens and
communities to come together to solve problems. That is why she has
focused on getting civics education back into Vermont's schools.
That is also why Deb has spent much of her time working with town
officials and citizens to help them resolve problems in their
communities - whether it is about wind towers in Searsburg, crime in
Rutland, or the inability of the clerk and selectboard to work
together in Fairfax.
Deb is a champion of open and accountable government. She fought
attempts to weaken our public records laws, championed legislation
to enable Vermont's communities to adopt binding ethics policies,
and she was instrumental in strengthening the laws that preserve
important government records. At the same time, she established the
Safe at Home program to protect victims of domestic violence from
being tracked down through public records. An e-government leader,
Markowitz's state-of-the-art website receives more than 35,000 hits
Deb has served on the Vermont Girl Scout Council, the Central
Vermont Community Action Agency, and the Vermont Women's Business
Center Advisory Board. She has also served on the advisory board of
the Federal Election Assistance Commission and is past president of
the National Association of Secretaries of State. Deb was recently
honored as a Rodel Fellow by the Aspen Institute.
Deb graduated from the University of Vermont and received her law
degree from Georgetown University. Deb and her husband Paul live in
Montpelier with their three children.