Highlights from the 100th Annual NASS Summer Conference Held in Indianapolis, Indiana

For Immediate Release
July 11, 2017

WASHINGTON, DC - Secretaries of State and senior staff members from 38 states and Puerto Rico gathered in Indianapolis, Indiana for the 100th annual summer meeting of the National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS), held on July 7 through July 10. The four-day event focused on policy issues and programs of mutual interest to state members, as well as the selection of national officers for the 2017-2018 cycle. 

Indiana Secretary of State Connie Lawson was sworn in as President of the association and Vermont Secretary of State Jim Condos was inducted as President-elect. 

Lawson is just the third Indiana official to lead the association in its 113-year history, following after Todd Rokita (2007-2008) and Edwin J. Simcox (1984-1985). 

The full slate of new Executive Board officers for 2017-2018 includes the following:

President:  Connie Lawson, Indiana
Immediate Past President:  Denise W. Merrill, Connecticut 
President-elect:  Jim Condos, Vermont
Treasurer:  Paul Pate, Iowa
Secretary: Wayne Williams, Colorado
Eastern Region Vice President:  Nellie Gorbea, Rhode Island
Southern Region Vice President:  John Merrill, Alabama
Midwestern Region Vice President:  Steve Simon, Minnesota
Western Region Vice President: Ed Murray, Wyoming
Member-at-Large (ACR):  Matt Dunlap, Maine
Member-at-Large (NPA):  Barbara Cegavske, Nevada

The national officers were elected by full member vote on July 10. They will each serve a one-year term ending in July 2018.

Additional meeting highlights include:

2017 National Awards: 

During a special awards ceremony held on July 9, the Office of the Arkansas Secretary of State was selected to receive the 2017 NASS IDEAS Award, which recognizes innovation and excellence in state programming. Arkansas was recognized for its Gov2Go platform, which allows citizens to receive personalized, timely and relevant notifications designed to help streamline their interactions with government. 

Secretary of State offices in Connecticut, Delaware and Iowa were also recognized for their national finalist submissions, which were reviewed and voted on by members.

On July 10, the association announced that it will award the 2017 Margaret Chase Smith American Democracy Award for political courage to the Little Rock Nine, nine courageous black students who challenged racial segregation by enrolling at the all-white Central High School in 1957. Arkansas Secretary of State Mark Martin nominated the group. The award will be presented at the NASS 2018 Winter Conference in Washington, DC.   

Also on July 10, NASS presented six NASS Medallion Awards for outstanding contributions and service to the association to the following recipients:

  • North Carolina Secretary of State Elaine Marshall
  • North Dakota Secretary of State Al Jaeger
  • South Carolina Secretary of State Mark Hammond
  • NASS NPA Section President Mike Smith
  • NASS Corporate Affiliate NIC
  • NASS Communications Director Kay Stimson

Resolutions: The following NASS policy resolutions were approved by member vote on July 10, 2017:

Conference presentations and notes are available to members in DC Connection on the NASS website.

Corporate Affiliate White Papers: Each year, NASS corporate affiliates submit white papers showcasing their expertise. This summer's submissions include: 

Workshops/Speakers: Thanks to our public and private sector speakers, including: The Carter Center, Council of State Governments, Federal Voting Assistance Program, Foster Moore, Indiana Department of Homeland Security, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center (MS-ISAC), Organization of American States, Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, Uniform Law Commission, University of Minnesota Humphrey School of Public Affairs, U.S. Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Election Assistance Commission.

To see full conference agenda, click HERE.


MEDIA CONTACT:  Kay Stimson, Dir. of Communications | 202.624.3528 |