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April 30, 2001
Contact: Dan A. Gwadosky
Secretary of State Holds Annual Elections Conference
Secretary Gwadosky to
Address Attendees on Election Reform
The Department of the Secretary of State will be holding its eighth annual Elections Conference for municipal clerks and registrars on May 1 and 2, 2001 at the Samoset Resort in Rockport. Secretary of State Dan A. Gwadosky will address the attendees with a presentation on Election Reform - A Local and National Perspective on Tuesday, May 1st at 9:00 a.m. Secretary Gwadosky’s presentation will include information on national and state election reform efforts, including the National Association of Secretaries of State election reform resolution, as well as a comparison of the Florida and Maine election procedures.
The National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS) has long advocated for improvements to the electoral process. NASS recently adopted a 12-point bi-partisan election reform resolution that addresses many issues that arose during the 2000-election cycle. The resolution provides general guidelines and goals that each state and its election officials should pursue to ensure fair and accurate elections. The resolution was the result of efforts by the National Election Standards Task Force appointed by NASS. Secretary Gwadosky is a member of the NASS Executive Committee and serves as treasurer of the organization.
“The November 2000 election provided our country with an opportunity to discuss many issues surrounding our electoral process and underlined the importance of civic participation,” stated Secretary Gwadosky. “Election reform is a topic currently receiving much national and local attention. While the State of Maine generally leads the nation in ballot access and in voter turnout, there are several bills before the Maine Legislature this session that attempt to improve our current process.”
The Secretary of State’s Elections Division oversees the statewide election process in a unique partnership with 520 municipalities. Since training is a key component to conducting successful elections, the Department of the Secretary of State has been holding a voluntary conference for municipal election officials for the past eight years. The Elections Conference has proven to be an excellent opportunity for municipal clerks, registrars, and other election officials to receive training and to share experiences and information. It also provides attendees with changes to the election law adopted during the current Legislative session. The conference will cover a number of topics including, absentee ballots, petition certification, voter list maintenance, and procedures on closing the polls. Over 180 municipal election officials are expected to attend the 2-day conference.