By AMY WENGER
THE GOSHEN NEWS
NAPPANEE — Nappanee was just one of many stops along the recent journey of Indiana’s Secretary of State Connie Lawson, as she dropped by the city on Wednesday.
Lawson’s travels took her to various points in both Elkhart and St. Joseph counties over two days. During her visit to Nappanee, Lawson offered a presentation to members of the Nappanee Rotary Club at the Nappanee Chamber of Commerce.
The purpose of Lawson’s trip was to further acquaint the the public about the various responsibilities her office oversees and maintains within the state.
“Our mission is to educate people about the services our department offers,” she said.
Before opening her discussion, Lawson took a moment to congratulate the community for currently landing among the leading regions for job growth, as observed by several national media outlets. Elkhart County recently placed third in the country for this achievement.
The Secretary of State’s office oversees the Securities Division, which assists investors with such topics as protection of their assets and shielding them from matters of securities fraud. Since this program was launched in 2002, this organization has convicted nearly 75 criminals, resulting in excess of 580 years in jail sentencing and the restitution of more than $30.6 million to victims.
The Secretary of State’s office also supervises Dealer Services, which works with auto, boat, motorcycle and RV dealers to ensure proper sales practices, titling and investigation for possible liens.
Another division, Business Services, handles the origination of limited liability companies, non-profit, and corporation businesses and other related necessary paperwork.
Indiana Investment Watch is another program implemented by state officials to enlighten people about financial literacy.
Lawson also serves as the state’s chief election officer. She helps ensure elections are fair, legal and orderly.
At the website http://www.indianavoters.com/, residents can explore the variety of ways that the state provides free resources to Hoosier voters. Lawson noted that there is currently a multi-state consortium in place, which includes Indiana, that is making it a goal to “clean up” voter records and purge the system of fraudulent registrants — a process that hasn’t been accomplished since 2006.
For more information on the Secretary of State’s office, and the services it provides to Indiana businesses and families, go online to http://www.sos.in.gov/. The direct telephone number is 317-232-6531, and Lawson also has a Facebook page, listed under Secretary of State Connie Lawson. Those who wish to follow her on Twitter can do so @Secretary Lawson.