The Office of the Secretary of States is the principal executive branch agency within the United States government charged with administering the foreign affairs power of the President.
The Secretary of State is one of the most powerful cabinet positions in the federal government. He/she is appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate. The current Secretary of State is Mike Pompeo.
The office of the Secretary of States was established in 1789 during the First Federal Congress.
The Secretary of States is responsible for overseeing the activities of the following offices:
Department of Commerce
Department of Energy
Department of Education
Department of Homeland Security
Department of Health and Human Services
Department of Housing and Urban Development
Department of Justice
Department of Labor
Department of Transportation
Department of Veterans Affairs
Executive Office of the President
Office of Management and Budget
United States Trade Representative
The Secretary of State is responsible under Article IV, Section 3 of the Constitution of Maryland for conducting elections and registering voters in the state. He or she is assisted by the Executive Assistant, who is appointed by the Governor with the consent of the Senate. In addition, there are four Deputy Secretaries of State, each of whom is appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the General Assembly. They assist the Secretary of State in carrying out his or her responsibilities. There are also three Assistant Secretaries of State, one of whom serves as the Chief Elections Officer. These positions are filled by gubernatorial appointment and confirmation by the Senate.
The Office of the Attorney General is charged with representing the interests of the State in litigation involving the interpretation and application of Maryland law. This includes representation of the State in cases brought against it by individuals or organizations. The office also represents the State in administrative proceedings brought by the Comptroller or the Insurance Commissioner.
The Office of Legislative Affairs advises the Legislature on matters affecting the operation of government. It assists in drafting legislation and in recommending changes in existing statutes. It also prepares reports and analyses of issues facing the legislature.
The Office of Information Technology Services develops information technology systems used by the State. It administers the Statewide Automated Voter Registration System, which allows eligible Marylanders to register to vote online.
The Office of Public Safety is responsible for providing police protection throughout the state. It maintains a statewide communications network to ensure that emergency messages reach people quickly. It also oversees the State Police Academy, which trains future officers.
The Office of Homeland Security coordinates efforts to prevent terrorist attacks within the state and protects the public during emergencies. It also works closely with federal authorities to protect the nation’s borders and ports of entry.
The Office of Campaign Finance is responsible for regulating campaign finance activities in Maryland. It enforces election laws and regulations governing political contributions, expenditures, and lobbying. It also investigates violations of those rules and prosecutes offenders.
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ADMINISTRATION & SUPPORT SERVICES DIVISION
The Administration & Support Services Division provides administrative support services to the University including payroll processing, information technology management, human resources administration, facilities maintenance, procurement, finance, budgeting, purchasing, grants management, and student financial aid.
CHARITIES & LEGAL SERVICES DIVISION
In accordance with Maryland Code Annotated Public General Laws Article 27 Section 705(a), the following organizations shall be registered with the Division of Charitable Solicitations of the Office of the Secretary of State:
1. Any organization organized exclusively for charitable purposes;
2. Any church, synagogue, mosque, religious society, fraternal benefit society, benevolent association, lodge, sorority, fraternity, educational institution, hospital, medical clinic, nursing home, sanitarium, or similar organization operated primarily for social welfare purposes;
3. Any organization operating under the auspices of a recognized national, state, county, city, or local government agency;
4. Any organization operating under one of the following names: American Red Cross, Salvation Army, United Way, Catholic Charities, Jewish Family Service, Christian Aid Society, Community Action Agency, Legal Services Corporation, National Association of Social Workers, Inc., National Council of Churches, Inc., or National Federation of Church Women;
SAFETY & SUPPORT SERVICES DIVISION
Craig Jackson is an Assistant Secretary of Administration and Support Services Division. His responsibilities include overseeing all of Maryland’s administrative divisions.
Lanisha Hall is a Service Officer who works closely with the office of procurement and contracting. She assists in managing contracts and procurements for the State.
Elizabeth Flowers is a Trade and Service Mark Officer whose job it is to register new marks, review existing marks, and protect the State’s intellectual property.
DIVISION OF STATE DOCUMENTS
Division of State Documents is Maryland’s official repository of public records. This includes birth certificates, death certificates and marriage licenses; adoption records; divorce decrees; real property records; land titles; and many other documents. The division is responsible for administering the state’s open records law, which requires government agencies to make public information about themselves upon request. The division also maintains the Maryland Register, a comprehensive collection of legal notices and forms published by the state.
The Office of the Administrator of the State Documents Administration administers Maryland’s public records laws, which include the Maryland Public Information Act, the Maryland Open Meetings Act, the Maryland Right-To-Know Law, the Maryland Freedom of Information Act, and the Maryland Real Property Recordation Acts. These laws require government agencies to provide access to public records upon request, except under certain circumstances. They also prohibit agencies from charging fees for public records requests.
The Office of Comptroller of Maryland oversees Maryland’s financial affairs, including managing all of the state‘s money and securities. In addition to overseeing the state treasurer, it also issues revenue bonds, provides fiscal advice to the governor, and audits the state’s books.
Secretaries of State
John C. Wobensmith is the current Secretary of State. His predecessor, Mike Pompeo, resigned in October 2018.
Luis E. Borunda is Deputy Secretary of State. He oversees the Office of Information Technology.
Fred L. Wineland is Building where the Office of Information Techonology is located.
Maryland Manual On-Line
The Office of Human Resources provides human resources services for all employees in Maryland’s Department of Health Care Administration. This includes providing employment opportunities, employee benefits, payroll processing, job postings, recruitment assistance and training programs.
Employees receive benefits through the Office Of Human Resources. They include health insurance, life insurance, retirement plans, tuition reimbursement, paid vacation days, sick pay, bereavement leave and disability leave.
The Office of Human Resource Services offer training courses to help employees progress within the department. These include CPR/AED, First Aid, Bloodborne Pathogens, OSHA 10 Hour Training, Drug Free Workplace Certification, Computer Aided Dispatching, Basic Firefighting, Emergency Vehicle Operations, Hazardous Waste Management, Lead Safe Construction, Motorcycle Safety, Occupational Hygiene and Industrial Hygiene.
Frequently Asked Questions
What does the Secretary of State do?
The Secretary of State is the chief elections officer of the State of Maryland. It is his or her duty to ensure that every election is conducted fairly and accurately. The Secretary of State’s office is responsible for maintaining voter registration lists, conducting statewide elections, certifying candidates for federal offices, and issuing driver’s licenses.
How is the secretary of state chosen in Maryland?
The Governor appoints a person to serve as Secretary of State. The appointment must be confirmed by the Senate.
James Rourke is a business and legal writer. He has written extensively on subjects such as contract law, company law, and intellectual property. His work has been featured in publications such as The Times, The Guardian, and Forbes. When he’s not writing, James enjoys spending time with his family and playing golf.