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Contact: Dan A. Gwadosky
August 7, 2001
Secretary of State Dan A. Gwadosky was elected President-Elect of the National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS) during its summer meeting and conference in Little Rock, Arkansas. As President-Elect, Secretary Gwadosky is a member of the Executive Committee and will begin his term as President in July 2002. During his term, he will shape the organization’s programming and initiatives.
“The NASS members have always sought ways to improve voter participation and the voting process in their respective states,” stated Secretary of State Dan A. Gwadosky. “The 2000 Presidential Election, however, brought into national focus issues that the Secretaries of State have continually strived to address.”
“Elections impact everyone and are the key to the success of our democratic form of government,” Secretary Gwadosky continued. “In order to ensure participation, citizens must have faith in the election process. NASS has always sought to maintain that trust and, as our recent resolutions illustrate, continues to be a leader of voter reform and participation.”
At its meeting in Little Rock, NASS adopted a resolution to provide Congress guidance as it discusses possible election reforms. NASS has been providing information and testimony to various Congressional committees since its February meeting in Washington, D.C. when it unveiled its 12-point election reform resolution. This resolution sought to addresses many issues that arose during the 2000-election cycle. The February resolution provides general guidelines and goals that each state and its election officials can pursue. Copies of both resolutions are available at http://nass.stateofthevote.org/.
In addition to election reform, the Secretaries often share ideas, programs and information that will encourage citizens to register and to vote. Moreover, they seek to establish programs that will increase students’ 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 consider methods of re-engaging younger voters in the electoral process.
The oldest professional, nonpartisan organization of major public officials, 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. Some of the common areas shared by Secretaries of State are election oversight, corporate filing, Uniform Commercial Code filing and campaign finance and ethics administration. With advances in technology and the Internet, the Secretaries have also sought to improve services to citizens through the use of technology.
Secretary Gwadosky had previously served on the Executive Committee as Eastern Regional Vice-President for two years and as Treasurer for the past year.