NASS Resolution Urging the National Political Parties to Set Earlier Nominating Convention Dates

WHEREAS the nation’s Secretaries of State have spent the past several years working with the major political parties to increase awareness of the importance of election administration issues and voting laws in setting national convention dates; 

WHEREAS the National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS) sent bipartisan letters to the DNC and the RNC for both 2008 and 2012, noting that the late timing of the nominating conventions in those cycles threatened to hinder the ability of states and localities to meet administrative deadlines set by state statute and federal law, leaving ballot certification and voting processes susceptible to delays; 

WHEREAS the late timing of the 2012 RNC and DNC conventions left state and local election officials in many areas of the U.S. facing highly compressed timelines for the preparation and dissemination of ballots for the November 2012 presidential election; 

WHEREAS conventions held during the period of mid-June to mid-August would enable state and local election officials to better ensure the timely certification, preparation, and mailing of absentee ballots to the nation's more than six million military and overseas citizens in accordance with federal law (the Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment Act requires ballots to be mailed at least 45 days prior to the general election); 

NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT NASS hereby encourages the RNC, the DNC and other major national parties to set earlier national convention dates for the 2016 presidential election cycle. 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that NASS members who serve as chief state election officials shall seek to promote this resolution with their state party leaders. 

Adopted the 21st day of July, 2013 

in Anchorage, AK 

EXPIRES: Summer 2018