The Secretary of State has a wide-ranging mission, including: delivering important services to Wisconsinites and businesses, advancing economic development, facilitating international opportunities, increasing civic engagement, and strengthening democracy. Despite the political attacks to consolidate power and create undue barriers, Secretary Godlewski is focused on delivering commonsense solutions for Wisconsin.
Improve office modernization and transparency: The Secretary of State’s office is the only agency in Wisconsin that can
authenticate documents that are accepted by foreign countries for purposes such as expanding a Wisconsin business overseas or adopting a child outside of the US. The office handles over 14,000 authentications a year - yet the process is antiquated. If someone from Superior wants to authenticate a document for their business, they either need to visit the Secretary of State’s office in Madison or use the mail service. As a result, this process can be costly and time consuming. It is important to meet people where they are and provide quality, accessible services. The Secretary of State’s office is currently working to modernize services from improving
electronic records, and remote customer service to adding e-payment and providing online forms. Further, the Office is working to make sure our services are available in different languages such as Spanish and Hmong.
Expand economic development and opportunities: The Secretary chairs the
Board of Commissioners of Public Lands (BCPL), a $1.4 billion
school trust fund, that helps fund books and technology for public schools and also finances community projects across the state. Under Secretary Godlewski’s leadership when she served as chair from 2019-2022, the BCPL funded over
600 projects across the state supporting municipalities doing the important work of expanding high speed internet to removing lead laterals. Secretary Godlewski plans to continue this positive trajectory as Chair with record-breaking distributions to public schools and supporting our local communities. Further, Secretaries of State have a unique connection with the US State Department, and across the country secretaries are advocating for their state overseas to expand business opportunities for their communities and their workers. Wisconsin has a lot to offer, and Secretary Godlewski looks forward to being an effective partner with this work.
Defend and strengthen democracy: The United States is the greatest country in the world because of our commitment and ability to implement democratic principles. Yet, these principles have been attacked from the spread of disinformation to
illegitmate electors submitting falsified documents to Wisconsin’s Secretary of State’s office trying to overturn the will of the people. While the Wisconsin Secretary of State’s office does not
administer elections, it does play a multifaceted, non-discretionary role in our democracy that varies from validating the Certificate of Votes for the Presidential election to maintaining county clerk records. Secretary Godlewski believes more must be done to strengthen our democracy by expanding civic education and engagement so students know how to participate in their democracy and by supporting local clerks who are understaffed, yet are the primary point of contact for local elections and many other government functions.