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Official tapped for international summit
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Forsyth County News

Gary J. Smith’s work to improve overseas voting has taken him to Munich, Germany.

The chairman of the Forsyth County Board of Registrations and Elections is serving on a panel during the Overseas Vote Foundation’s fourth annual

Uniformed and Overseas Citizen Absentee Voting Act, UOCAVA, Summit.

The event features discussions on technology, research and initiatives in overseas voting, as well as debate on the pros and cons of Internet voting.

Smith said he will serve as moderator of the Effectiveness of Policy Indexes panel on Friday.

He was recommended by Heather Gerken, a Yale University professor who interviewed Smith for her book, “The Democracy Index.”

Claire Smith, research program director for the vote foundation, wrote a letter to Gary Smith saying his “experience, knowledge and technical expertise in this arena will certainly bring valuable insights into this debate and discussion.”

Gary Smith said he was proud to be recognized.

“I’ve got a good reputation in the elections community and I have written several papers on the value of using index data for elections,” he said.

“I’m a small part of it, but I’m just happy to be involved ... it’s a prestigious group of people.”

In addition to his work with the local elections board, Smith also serves as a board member of Operation Bravo, a national nonprofit organization seeking to offer electronic voting alternatives for all U.S. citizens serving in any capacity overseas.

He said the two-day Munich event will help his work with both Operation Bravo and the county.

“What’s going to come out of this is more and better legislation,” he said.

“What they’re trying to do is pull together some of the strongest and most knowledgeable people ... and see how we can come together and develop a process that will allow all of us to have better means of voting absentee.”