NASS Resolution Calling for the Federal Government to Recognize Address Confidentiality Programs

Whereas 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 most effectively; 

Whereas the nation’s Secretaries of State believe Members of Congress should respect out country’s legal and historical distinctions in federal and state sovereignty and avoid preemption of state authority when drafting federal legislation; 

Whereas the nation’s Secretaries of State believe 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; 

Whereas the nation’s Secretaries of state believe federal legislation should grant states maximum flexibility in determining methodologies for properly and effectively carrying out the duties of protecting the safety of state residents; 

Whereas the safety of state residents is a priority of every state; 

Whereas domestic violence, rape, human trafficking, and other horrific crimes are a very real and constant threat to some members of our states; 

Whereas at least 36 states have implemented address confidentiality programs to better protect residents from these crimes; 

Whereas these programs have made a tremendous difference in thousands of lives by protecting participants’ physical addresses from disclosure by state governments; 

Whereas participants may still be put at risk by the public disclosure of their physical addresses by federal agencies, departments and the judiciary; 

Whereas federal agencies have been inconsistent in their recognition or acceptance of designated addresses used by participants in address confidentiality programs administered by the states; 

Now therefore be it resolved that the National Association of Secretaries of State calls on Congress to enact legislation requiring federal agencies, federal departments, the judiciary, and any other similar public entities to recognize state address confidentiality programs, to accept the designated addresses of participants in such programs and to abide by state restrictions on the disclosure of participants’ private information. 

Adopted the 10th day of July 2017 

in Indianapolis, Indiana 

Expires: Summer 2022