NASS Approach to Federal Legislation

Adopted on February 11, 2007; Reaffirmed January 2012, February 2017, March 2022

The nation’s Secretaries of State believe that our federal and state governments must work in cooperation to serve the citizens of the United States. To facilitate the appropriate balance for an equal and effective partnership, the National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS) urges federal officials to adhere to the following guidelines when developing laws and regulations:

1. Members of Congress should respect our country’s legal and historical distinctions in federal and state sovereignty and avoid preemptions of state authority when drafting federal legislation.

2. Federal legislation should include a reasonable timeframe for implementing state requirements or programs.

3. Federal legislation that affects the office and duties of the Secretaries of State should be drafted with input from NASS or a representative sample of the Secretaries of State who would be impacted by the bill.

4. Federal legislation that mandates changes to state laws or regulations should include full funding to support those changes.

5. Federal legislation should not curtail state innovation and authority solely for the sake of creating uniform methods among the states; all legislation should grant states maximum flexibility in determining methodologies for properly and effectively carrying out the duties of Secretaries of State, including the protection of voting rights. 

EXPIRES: Winter 2027