The Rhode Island Department of State engages and empowers all Rhode Islanders by making government more accessible and transparent, encouraging civic pride, enhancing commerce and ensuring that elections are fair, fast and accurate. The Secretary of State is the state’s third ranking elected official, following the Governor and Lt. Governor. State law gives the Secretary of State many different duties. As Rhode Island’s chief elections officer, the Secretary of State registers voters, prepares ballots, certifies election results and administers oaths of office. The Secretary of State also works with companies registered to do business in Rhode Island – more than 70,000 in all. State laws and other official acts, such as issuing bonds, must be signed by the Secretary of State in order to make them official. The Secretary of State is also charged with regulating lobbying activity in the Executive and Legislative branches of state government. In addition, the Secretary of State also processes, preserves and gives the public access to hundreds of thousands of historic documents and public records.