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For Immediate Release
Maine Secretary of State Dan A. Gwadosky
Secretary of State Dan A. Gwadosky was elected President of the National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS) during its summer meeting and conference this week in Providence, Rhode Island. NASS is the oldest professional, nonpartisan organization of public officials in the United States. As President of NASS, Secretary Gwadosky will shape the organization's programming and initiatives and oversee continuing efforts on election reform, youth voting initiatives and e-government services.
"NASS has lead the debate on improving voter registration processes, increasing government services available over the Internet and pursuing election reform at the state and national levels," said Secretary Gwadosky. "I look forward to continuing the organization's efforts in these areas, as well as seeking new initiatives that would increase voter turnout nationally," continued Secretary Gwadosky. "In Maine we have a long-standing tradition of leading the nation in voter turnout in presidential elections. It is my goal to expand this success nationally."
Since the November 2000 Presidential Election, NASS has adopted several resolutions to address issues that arose during that election cycle. Collectively, these resolutions have served as a guideline during the debate on election reform in Congress and in state legislatures. NASS has provided information and testimony to various Congressional committees and continues to monitor and seek passage of an election reform bill by Congress that would assist states in updating voting technology, increasing training for election workers, expanding voter education programs and improving election processes.
"Citizens' confidence in the integrity of our electoral system is crucial to our democratic form of government," stated Secretary Gwadosky. "In order to ensure participation, citizens must have faith in the election process. NASS has always sought to maintain that trust and continues to be a leader of voter reform and participation."
In addition to election reform, the Secretaries also promote ideas and programs that will encourage citizens to register and to vote. Moreover, they have targeted programs that will increase young people's awareness of the democratic process. As part of this effort, the New Millennium Project was initiated in 1999 with a study on the voting behaviors of the nation's youth. Since obtaining the right to vote in 1971, there has been an almost 20% decline in the number of 18 to 24 year olds participating in Presidential Elections (from 1972 to 1996). The New Millennium Project continues in its second phase as the Secretaries work to engage younger voters in the electoral process through the use of youth friendly initiatives and by seeking non-traditional locations to offer voter registration to this age group.
Finally, the Secretaries of State have been leaders, at the state government level, in advocating for and implementing Internet based services. These e-government services provide citizens and businesses with improved access to state services and information, as part of a more convenient customer service approach. Many Secretary of State offices have led their states with available online services. In Maine specifically, the Department of Secretary of State offers more online services than any other state agency.
NASS was established in 1904 to assist Secretaries of State in the public administration of their duties. Over the years, the responsibilities of the office have evolved to include a variety of fields, however, the organization continues to provide these elected officials with information and education for efficient and effective service to the public. Many of the common areas shared by Secretaries of State are election oversight, corporate filing, Uniform Commercial Code filing and campaign finance and ethics administration.
During his 5 years with the organization, Secretary Gwadosky has served on the Executive Committee as Eastern Regional Vice-President, Treasurer and President-Elect. For more information on NASS visit www.nass.org.