The Secretary of State is responsible for safeguarding California’s history in the State Archives. The Archives staff collect, organize and preserve the state's permanent government records and other historical materials such as maps, architectural drawings, photographs, video and audio tapes, and artifacts.
The Elections Division oversees all federal and state elections within California. In every statewide election, California prepares voter information pamphlets in 10 languages — English, Spanish, Chinese, Hindi, Japanese, Khmer, Korean, Tagalog, Thai and Vietnamese — for nearly 18 million registered voters.
The Political Reform Division helps make the political process more transparent by helping people monitor financing of state political campaigns and lobbying activities. Most candidates for state office, ballot measure committees and anyone who lobbies the State Legislature and state agencies must file detailed financial disclosure statements with the Secretary of State. That information is available online through the Campaign Automated Lobbyist and Campaign Contribution and Expenditure Search System (CAL-ACCESS) at cal-access.sos.ca.gov/.
The Business Programs Division, the largest division of the Secretary of State’s office, supports California Businesses by registering and authenticating business entities and trademarks and enabling secured creditors to protect their financial interests. The Business Programs Division processes millions of business filings and information requests each year.
The Notary Public Section appoints and commissions eligible notaries public. A notary public is a public official who performs valuable services to the legal, business, financial and real estate communities by certifying or witnessing signatures on official documents.
The Notary Public Section also certifies to the authenticity of notaries public and public officials' signatures on documents used in foreign countries.