Montpelier City Clerk John Odum announced recently that he is running for Vermont Secretary of State as a Democrat. Odum has lived in Montpelier for 26 years. He was born in Berea, Ky., and has served as the elected city clerk in Montpelier for 10 years. Odum notes that, “The experience of a town or city clerk — that kind of community-level, person-to-person grunt work of elections, archiving, licensing, and more — would be ideally suited to the Secretary of State’s office.” Among other skills, Odum is a Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) who serves on the advisory board of the Cyber Policy Initiative at the University of Chicago’s Harris School of Public Policy. “In just the last few weeks, the threat of hacks to our election systems has increased a hundredfold. As an ethical hacker, I understand what the threats are and how they will come better than any Secretary of State in the country. I will be uniquely qualified to take Vermont to the strongest position possible in meeting these threats,” Odum commented.Odum has also been targeted in a lawsuit from the Republican National Committee and the Vermont Republican Party over “all-resident” voting, on which he led the way in Vermont. He believes the Secretary of State’s office can serve as a resource for those communities that want to follow Montpelier and Winooski in expanding the right for all our neighbors to vote on matters that impact their own lives as members of their towns. “There’s no reason to feel threatened if a town community shouldn’t be able to open the doors to all their neighbors to have a say in local budgets and how they are represented in their town. I think the Secretary of State’s office can support communities that want to increase democratic participation in their towns. It’s something to be proud of.” Odum holds a Certificate in Election Management from the Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota, as well as a small assortment of IT certifications in addition to his CEH certification (Microsoft Certified Professional, Certified Internet Webmaster Associate, Certified Network Defense Architect).