Highlights from the 98th Annual NASS Summer Conference

NASS Inducts New Officers for the Coming Year, Reaffirms Resolution Calling for Limited Role of U.S. Election Assistance Commission

For Immediate Release
July 14, 2015

WASHINGTON, DC - A record-breaking number of attendees, including 33 Secretaries of State, gathered in Portland, Maine on July 9-12 for the 98th annual summer meeting of the National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS).

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 2015-2016 cycle.

National Officers 

Louisiana Secretary of State Tom Schedler was sworn in as president of the nonpartisan association representing state officials. During his induction, he outlined his priorities for the coming year with a "Recipe for Success" based upon GUMBO:

  • Governing with Excellence,
  • Unwavering Public Engagement,
  • Modernizing Elections,
  • Building Business and Economic Growth and
  • Operating with Accountability

The NASS 2015-2016 Executive Board includes the following members:

  • President: Hon. Tom Schedler, Louisiana Immediate Past President: Hon. Elaine Marshall, North Carolina
  • President-elect: Hon. Denise Merrill, Connecticut
  • Treasurer: Hon. Kim Wyman, Washington
  • Secretary: Hon. Mark Martin, Arkansas
  • Eastern Region Vice-President: Hon. Jim Condos, Vermont
  • Southern Region Vice-President: Hon. Brian Kemp, Georgia
  • Midwestern Region Vice-President: Hon. Connie Lawson, Indiana
  • Western Region Vice-President: Hon. Linda McCulloch, Montana
  • Member-at-Large (ACR Section): Hon. Matt Dunlap, Maine
  • Member-at-Large (NPA Section): Hon. Al Jaeger, North Dakota

The national officers were elected by full member vote at the NASS 2015 Summer Conference, held on July 9-12 in Portland, Maine. They will serve a one-year term, ending in July 2016.

Policy Resolutions 

The following resolutions (titles abbreviated) were approved at the meeting:

  • Resolution Reaffirming the NASS Position on Funding and Authorization of the U.S. Election Assistance Commission
  • NASS Resolution Supporting International Election Observers/NASS Protocol for International Observers
  • NASS Resolution Urging the Utilization of Technology and Embracing the Participation of Military & Overseas Voters
  • NASS Resolution Affirming the Role of the State as Sole Authority to Establish Electronic Notarization Standards 
  • NASS Resolution on the Collection of Ownership Information in the Company Formation Process
  • NASS Resolution Supporting US - Taiwan Bilateral Trade and Investment

NASS resolutions are designed to convey association positions on policy matters or other issues of shared interest. If recommended by a committee for action, a full member vote is conducted during the conference business meeting. Once adopted, standing resolutions remain in effect until a renewal date, which can be found at the end of each resolution. 

2015 National Awards 

NASS IDEAS Award: For the second consecutive year, the Office of the Colorado Secretary of State was selected as the NASS IDEAS (Innovation, Dedication, Excellence and Achievement in Service) Award recipient. Members selected Colorado for the 2015 award for its Business Intelligence Center/Go Code Colorado initiative.

During the awards ceremony held on July 11, Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams accepted the NASS IDEAS Award on behalf of the office. Secretary of State offices in Tennessee, South Dakota and Washington were also recognized for their national finalist submissions. 


NASS Margaret Chase Smith Award: On July 12, the association announced that it will honor attorney/civil rights activist Fred Gray with the 2015 Margaret Chase Smith American Democracy Award, which recognizes acts of political courage.  

Gray was nominated by Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill for litigating several major civil rights cases in Alabama, several of which reached the U.S. Supreme Court.

He will be presented with the award at the NASS 2016 Winter Conference on February 10-13 in Washington, DC.

NASS established the Margaret Chase Smith American Democracy Award in tribute to the former U.S. Senator from Maine, who jeopardized her career by speaking out against the red-baiting tactics of Senator Joseph P. McCarthy. Recipients of are recognized for similar acts of political courage, uncommon character and selfless action in the realm of public service.   

Google/Voting Information Project Award: On July 9, theGoogle/Voting Information Project presented Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate and Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon with a recognition award for exemplary participation.

CoSA Advocacy Award: The Council of State Archivist’s Advocacy Award was presented to NASS Executive Director Leslie Reynolds on July 10. Reynolds was recognized for efforts to preserve the American historical record and promote the work of state archivists throughout the nation.

State Shared Practices

This year's shared practices sessions focused on "exploring new directions" in governing and leadership, including:

  • Best practices in website design and content panel, featuring participants from the Louisiana and Minnesota Secretary of State offices, as well as Google, Los Angeles County, California and the Pew Charitable Trusts 
  • Voter registration data panelfeaturing Alison Lundergan Grimes, Kentucky Secretary of State; Jeanne Atkins, Oregon Secretary of State; Tim Fleming, Georgia Deputy Secretary of State; and moderated by Jon Husted, Ohio Secretary of State
  • IDEAS Award state innovations panel featuring 
    Andrew Cole, Office of the ColoradoSecretary of State; Brandon Johnson,Office of the South Dakota Secretary of State; Wayne Moore, Office of the Tennessee Secretary of State and Kim Wyman, Washington Secretary of State
  • State heritage session featuringMaine State Archivist David Cheever discussing the state's digital archiving initiatives
  • Elections sessionwith John Merrill, Alabama Secretary of State, discussing the SEC Primary effort for the 2016 presidential election
  • Voter participation session with Bill Gardner, New Hampshire Secretary of Statediscussing New Hampshire's restrictions on ballot "selfies" in social media
  • Internet voting discussion featuring Susan Dzieduszycka-Suinat, President & CEO, U.S. Vote Foundation; , Galois, Technical Advisor, End-to-End Verifiable Internet Voting Project and Adam Ambrogi, Program Director, Democracy Fund Responsive Politics Program discussing Secretary of State participation in the Knight News Challenge
  • Digital learning panelfeaturing Natalie Tennant, West Virginia Secretary of State; Roger J. Fuller, Ph.D., CEO & Co-Founder, Gryphondale Educational Services of Maine; Bette Manchester, Consultant, Gryphondale Educational Services; and moderated by Connie Lawson, Indiana Secretary of State

Conference presentations are available to NASS members in the DC Connection section of the NASS

A full conference agenda is available HERE.

Corporate Affiliate White Papers  

NASS corporate affiliate members are asked to submit white papers that showcase their valuable expertise to members. This year, the following submissions were received:

  • Voting System End of Life (Everyone Counts)
  • Voting Sytem ROI Factors (HART InterCivic)
  • Digital Government Service Delivery (PCC Technology Group)
  • Emerging Legal Technologies (Thomson Reuters)

Conference Event Sponsors

GOLD: Election Systems & Software | LexisNexis | Maine Information Network | PCC Technology Group Workgroup Technology Partners

SILVER: L.L. Bean | Maine Automobile Dealers Association | Snyder's-Lance 

BRONZE: AAA | BerryDunn | Crown Cork & Seal | ELECTEC | Konica Minolta | LHS Associates | Pierce Atwood LLP | Scytl | Systel | UNUM 

CONTRIBUTING: AAMVA | Bangor Savings Bank | CIANBRO | IVS LLC | Maine Motor Transport AssociationMSS/Verrill Dana | Mylan | Nestle/Poland Spring | Nike | Preti Flaherty | Summit Natural Gas

NASS is also grateful to the Maine State Archives, Maine Department of the Secretary of State and Maine Historical Society for hosting a traveling exhibit commemorating the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta.

Conference Media

About NASS

Founded in 1904, NASS is the oldest, nonpartisan professional organization of public officials in the U.S. Members include the 50 states, the District of Columbia, American Samoa and Puerto Rico. NASS serves as a medium for the exchange of information between states and fosters cooperation in the development of public policy. The association has key initiatives in the areas of elections and voting, state business services, digital archiving, international relations and state securities regulation, as well as several well-established awards programs. 


MEDIA CONTACT: Kay Stimson 202.624.3528 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">