Technology & Cyber Security:
Technology & Cyber Security must be at the forefront of very decision made in the Secretary of State’s office. Just about every day we hear of another cyber ransom or technology related crime, and it’s only going to get worse. These crimes end up costing consumers and tax payers billions of dollars every year. And would you believe that over the last 16 years under Secretary of State Mark Hammond the office has only had one technology upgrade – a cyber criminal’s dream.
Not only is the door wide open for cyber criminals, but as recently as two years ago, out of the 150+ forms the office processed, only two were available online. This is unthinkable. With all the tools that are now available for the office to utilize, Secretary Hammond refuses to modernize. Taxpayers should not have to wait another 14 years for the office to develop better ways to serve their needs. As your next Secretary of State, I will wake up every day asking myself, “what can we do to serve the public, and protect their data.”
Leaders lead from the front. The Secretary of State is a full-time working position. The public supports this position with an annual salary equal to the Governor. With numerous constitutional duties and statutory responsibilities, you would expect the Secretary to be in office 40, 50 plus hours per week. The current Secretary of State works on average 2.5 days per week, and uses a state car for his commute from Spartanburg to Columbia. This will end. As your next Secretary of State, I will drive my own car, and do whatever it takes to be in the office very day working for you. My responsibility will be to transform the office into the shining light of all state government. I want the public to be able to point to the office of the Secretary of State and say if Putnam can do that within this office then why can’t we reform other areas of government to serve the taxpayer of this state.
We will consider every area within the office where we can trim the fat and invest in areas that will continue to save the taxpayer funds for years to come. I personally have identified many areas where we can modernize functions of the office in order to save the taxpayer, at the same time delivering a much-improved experience with the office. Our first area of improvement will be with business filing fees. Over the last 16 years business filing fees within the office have increased by over 50%. Government should not look for every way to nickel and dime the public, we should be a helping hand to walk people through the challenging process of starting their business. Starting a business can be quite scary and the nightmare should not be dealing with your government. It always surprises me that we pay taxes to fund the government for the government to make simple solutions difficult. That will change on day one of my administration. We will install a culture throughout the office of the Secretary of State to serve to the public above all else.