What Does the Secretary of State Do?

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This time next year, we’ll either be celebrating a win for democracy or crying in our soup wondering how in the world a man unfit for the presidency was elected—again!

We have 364 days to put in the work to stave off disaster. I have never been accused of being overly dramatic, so I hope my usual, sometimes somber, demeanor doesn’t belie the genuine concern that I have that the great democratic experiment could come to an end on our watch.

Today, I’m speaking to you directly, my sisters, about what we can start doing NOW to save our nation from itself.

One of the most important things we can do is to educate ourselves about how our system of government works and then engage and activate using strategies that can change the systems. We need to know how things work so we can change them!

One of the most critical actors in our democratic system of government is the secretary of state. Secretaries of State exist in every state (47) except Alaska, Hawaii, and Utah.

The secretary of state is a statewide position. In 35 states, the voters select the secretary of state, and in the other 12, the secretary of state is appointed by either the governor or the state legislature.

The duties of the Secretary of State vary, with them being responsible for state governance activities such as:

  • Maintaining official state records
  • Registering businesses
  • Recording the official acts of the governor
  • Licensing folks to serve as a notary public
  • In 37 states, the secretary of state is the chief elections officer with oversight of elections and voter registration.

This person is very important to our democratic process in most of the country.

A map of the country shows that Republicans hold 26 secretary of state positions, compared to 21 Democrats. Kentucky, Louisiana, and Mississippi will elect secretaries of state this year.

This role has become increasingly political and partisan as some state legislatures have sought to suppress voting rights. Limiting early voting, changing polling places and timing, requiring ID, purging folks from voting rolls, and other scary tactics have worked, and too many folks are discouraged or prevented from voting.

So, what can you do?

Today, please confirm your voter registration status. Click the image below to confirm that your secretary of state has your correct information and that you’re good to vote in the next election.

Click below to check your voter registration status!

Don’t sleep! Check your status just in case your state’s secretary of state has been up to some shenanigans and attempted to remove you from the voter registration rolls!

In solidarity,

Stephanie McGencey, WE CAN Founder

WE CAN looks forward to seeing you at our upcoming events!

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