Originally published on the PBS NewsHour website.
“…In some states, [Secretaries of State] also perform non-election roles. They can oversee business licenses, or, as in Arizona, be first-in-line successors to the governorship. The Texas secretary of state publishes the government’s rules and regulations, authorizes people as notaries public and acts as a senior advisor on border issues and relations with Mexico.
When the job doubles as the state’s chief election officer, the SoS has a lot of sway over how elections are run, said Kevin Johnson, co-founder and executive director at Election Reformers Network, an organization that advocates for making elections nonpartisan.
Secretaries of state can influence which issues become ballot measures and how they are described, Johnson said. And as the public face of a state’s election procedures, they also can strengthen – or weaken – trust in the election process.”