July 22, 2010
Contact: Matthew Dunlap

National Association of Secretaries of State
Spotlights Military and Overseas Voter Outreach,
Inducts 2010-2011 Leadership at Summer Conference in Rhode Island

Maine Secretary of State Matt Dunlap Sworn in as NASS President, Names New National Officers

PROVIDENCE, RI – The National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS), which concluded its annual summer meeting in Providence, Rhode Island, yesterday convened the largest and most diverse group of high-ranking government, military and private sector representatives in recent history to discuss voting innovations for members of the U.S. military and civilians living abroad. More than 100 participants representing all levels of government and all branches of the U.S. military are focused on federal and state government outreach efforts and tools related to the Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment (MOVE) Act, which focuses closely on technology to enhance the absentee balloting process.

This is a history-making effort to coordinate voter education and outreach efforts in order to enfranchise as many as six and a half million potential voters, many of whom are serving our nation in military or diplomatic service, said NASS President Trey Grayson of Kentucky, whose term as head of the association concluded yesterday. As chief state election officials, we are working vigorously to make it easier for military and overseas civilians to register to vote and cast their ballots this November.

Sessions were designed to highlight the work of federal and state election officials, federal agency representatives, military and civilian voting assistance officers, Members of Congress, and voter outreach groups. The U.S. Department of Defense Federal Voting Assistance Program, the U.S. Department of Justice Voting Rights Section, the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Election Assistance Commission are participating. All five branches of the U.S. military are represented. Featured speakers included Rear Admiral James P. Wisecup, President of the U.S. Naval War College, and the Honorable Greg Casey, President and CEO of BIPAC, the nation’s oldest business PAC representing many major U.S. companies with employees working and living overseas.

NASS also inducted its new slate of national officers for the 2010-2011 cycle. Maine Secretary of State Matt Dunlap will serve as president, marking just the second time in the association’s 106-year history that a secretary from the Pine Tree State has done so.

Dunlap has been a member of the NASS Executive Board since 2006, most recently serving as president-elect. He has also held several committee leadership positions, including chair positions for the NASS Voter Participation Committee and the NASS Business Services Committee.

"I am incredibly proud and humbled to be elected president of such an incredible and historic organization, and there is something about being sworn in on Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment Day that punctuates the importance of our mission," said Dunlap, who joined NASS shortly after taking office as Maine secretary of state.

As states move through difficult financial times, we have no shortage of issues to confront. Improving access to our elections accounts for a great deal of our energy and expertise, but the rapidly changing legal dynamic of personal and corporate identity security and the prevention of document fraud will also need our attention.

Dunlap is one of three secretaries of state who head up their state’s motor vehicle association. As secretary of state, he also oversees elections, business filings, notaries public, civic outreach and a host of other services in his state. In 2003, Dunlap spearheaded a NASS summit on state government redaction practices held in Portland. He is also a member of the NASS Company Formation Task Force.

As president of NASS, Dunlap will lead a slate of executive officers who will oversee the association’s activities for the coming year (through July 2011). The NASS Executive Board includes:

President: Matt Dunlap, Maine
Past President: Trey Grayson, Kentucky
President-Elect: Beth Chapman, Alabama
Treasurer: Ross Miller, Nevada
Secretary: Kate Brown, Oregon
Eastern Region Vice President: Ralph Mollis, Rhode Island
Southern Region Vice President: Tre Hargett, Tennessee
Midwestern Region Vice President: Mark Ritchie, Minnesota
Western Region Vice President: Ben Ysursa, Idaho
Member at Large: John Gale, Nebraska
Member at Large: John McDonough, Maryland

This diverse group of leaders represents the collective dedication, talent and expertise of our members, noted Dunlap. I look forward to working with them in the year ahead to forge the associations future.