Secretary of State
Grayson Takes Leading Role in Harvard Symposium on Presidential Primaries
Chief State Election Officials from 12 States Invited to Attend Bipartisan Forum at Harvard Institute of Politics
(Washington, DC)-A dozen members of the National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS), including Kentucky Secretary of State Trey Grayson, will join leading political, legal and academic professionals on April 29 at the Institute of Politics at Harvard Kennedy School in Cambridge, Massachusetts for a bipartisan symposium on the 2008 presidential primary process.
“I am excited that we are beginning to see substantive discussions taking place on the subject of how to reform our presidential primary process,” stated Secretary Grayson, who co-chairs NASS’s Presidential Primary Subcommittee. “As we continue these discussions, I am hopeful that the leaders of our country will find a way to reform this process so that we have a better way of nominating our presidential candidates.”
Grayson, who serves as a Senior Advisor to the Harvard Institute of Politics (IOP), brought NASS and the IOP together to initiate this historic discussion.
In addition to secretaries of state, the first-of-its-kind, day-long event will bring together federal and state elected officials, political strategists, Democratic and Republican party leaders, congressional staff, members of the media, election law experts and governmental scholars to consider improvements to the presidential nominating contests for 2012 and beyond.
The agenda for the Harvard "Presidential Primary Symposium," developed in consultation with NASS, will include sessions moderated by some of today's top political journalists. Topics include the 2008 presidential primary schedule, plans and alternatives for changing the nominating process, constitutional limitations and other challenges to implementation, and future primaries and caucuses.
The Harvard IOP plans to publish a transcript of the conversations from the symposium and will release a white paper outlining possible recommendations on improving the presidential primary process.
"We are pleased to have so many secretaries of state taking part in this unprecedented event aimed at bringing together Democrats and Republicans to discuss our presidential nominating system," said NASS President Todd Rokita, Indiana Secretary of State. "Following the frenzied 2008 primary and caucus schedule that began just a few days into the new year, election officials have a strong interest in curbing the impacts of frontloading and restoring order to the process."
NASS is a leading voice for transforming the presidential nominating process. Members adopted the NASS Rotating Regional Primaries Plan in 1999 and continue to push for its adoption by the national parties. The association's February 2008 report, entitled, "The Case for Regional Primaries in 2012 and Beyond: Report of the NASS Subcommittee on Presidential Primaries," provides information on the plan, as well as statistics on the 2008 nominating cycles and a chart of the frontloading phenomenon from 2000 to 2008.
The NASS Subcommittee on Presidential Primaries is co-chaired by Secretary Grayson and Iowa Secretary of State Michael Mauro. In addition to Grayson and Mauro, NASS members invited to participate in the Harvard symposium include: NASS President Todd Rokita, Indiana Secretary of State, Pennsylvania Secretary of the Commonwealth Pedro Cortes, Kansas Secretary of State Ron Thornburgh, Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth William Galvin, New Hampshire Secretary of State William Gardner, Minnesota Secretary of State Mark Ritchie, Washington Secretary of State Sam Reed, Rhode Island Secretary of State A. Ralph Mollis, Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner, California Secretary of State Debra Bowen and Utah Lieutenant Governor Gary Herbert.
For more information, visit www.nass.org.
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