The office of Secretary of State has several responsibilities under its umbrella. One is to make sure all 92 county clerks have what they need to conduct an accurate election.
“I’m very comfortable working with elections,” Lawson said. “As a senator, I worked on the election process. The second highest profile part of the office is the Business Services Division. When corporations are formed they must register. We have probably 40,000 new businesses register a year.”
The office is also responsible for the Securities Division, which issues licenses for securities professionals. Lawson said there are 7,700 stock broker firms in the state and that there are 120,000 stock brokers.
She said her office also investigates fraudulent investments or scams.
“We have the ability to investigate and work with local prosecutors and bring criminal charges,” she said. “We assist them to take them to trial.”
She said one area people don’t really know the Secretary of State office works with is the Auto Dealers Division.
“Six years ago, the Secretary of State’s office took this over from the Bureau of Motor Vehicles,” Lawson said. “We license and regulate motor vehicle sales. There are 7,200 motor vehicle dealers in the state. We license and regulate them. I was aware the office worked with auto dealers, but didn’t know the extent until I was in office. I’ve really enjoyed getting in and learning the nitty gritty of this part of the office.”
She said the staff of the Indiana Secretary of State’s office has been very helpful to her in her transition from the legislature.
“The staff is full of hard working people,” she said. “I had a lot of help from them.”
Lawson said the office has between 60 and 65 employees that cover all four divisions.
“We’ve been working on building our team,” she said. “We now do a monthly newsletter and division updates.”