Name as it appears on the ballot: Elaine F. Marshall
Campaign website: www.elainemarshall.com
Phone number: 919-719-3907
Years lived in the state: 47
1. What do you see as the most important issues facing the secretary of state in North Carolina? If elected, what are your top three priorities in addressing those issues?
Our most important for tissue for the office and our users is cybersecurity. There are three ways to handle this issue.
1. Secure and maintain the strongest and most current protections and diagnostics to prevent intrusion.
2. Provide aids, training, and protection tips for users.
3. Promote best cyber practices among stock brokers, financial advisors, and others in the securities sector who hold personal client information.
2. What in your record as a public official or other experience demonstrates your ability to be effective on the issues you have identified? Please be as specific as possible in relating past accomplishments to your current goals.
I have continually engaged in many training opportunities to upgrade my personal knowledge on cyber security and to learn from businesses as to how we can meet their business needs 10 years or more from now. I served on the Board and later became President of the National Electronic Commerce Coordinating Council, a technology think tank for government agencies.
Under my leadership, North Carolina is the leading state in the country on electronic commerce for Secretary of State offices. We have the most robust electronic recording program for land records including plats, electronic notary, and now are beginning a pilot project for e-closings for real estate.
3. How would you define yourself politically, and how does your political philosophy show itself in your past achievements and present campaign platform.
I am progressive with a strong fiscal reality. Secretary of State functions that relate to the basics of legally required filings should not be, and are not, political.
The Secretary of State function that relate our law enforcement responsibilities do provide me the opportunity to develop a strong consumer protection agenda in conducting senior seminars on investment frauds, creating a monthly securities newsletter, speaking to civic groups about business identify fraud, training sessions for entrepreneurs on starting a business, raising capital, etc…
4. Is there anything the secretary of state could do, or should do, to make information about businesses in the state more transparent or accessible?
There are many documents filed prior to 2000 that are not online as we have never received funding to scan all of them. We now produce and scan them upon request. This is a burden on business transactions, but without funding, we are relegated to this system.
The legislature changed the form that is used for Annual Reports so that a corporation or LLC can simply say “no change” from the prior year(s) when in fact, we learn of address changes, officer changes, or deaths. State statutes require current data. Stale data is harmful to business. Requiring corporations and LLC’s to use our digital forms for Annual Reports would make them more easily searchable and would greatly improve our back office efficiency in this area. This would require legislative change.
5. House Bill 2 has been criticized by many corporations and businesses that do business, or seek to do business, in North Carolina. What is your opinion of the bill and its effect on business in the state?
HB2 was an intrusion into municipal affairs and with no serious opportunity for citizen input. It took away a citizen’s right to sue in state court for discrimination, took away the right of a city to set a living wage for city employees and created a “solution” for a non-existent “problem.” In the process HB2 cost North Carolina’s economy to suffer and greatly tarnished our state nationally and internationally.
We have seen our reputation damaged drastically. Only a total repeal of HB2 will begin to rectify our economic tailspin.
6. Internet-based businesses make up an increasing share of the state’s business entities. Has the secretary of state kept up with the authentication issues that have arisen along with that trend? What are some challenges that digital commerce pose to the office, and how do you propose they be solved?
We are striving to hit a balance between ease of use through technology and misuse leading to fraud. We have created volunteer sign up function for registered entities and others to be notified when a change is made to a record in order to determine if the entity authorized the change. A challenge exists with trolling for deficient or delinquent records by rogue individuals. We have identified software that would assist us with prevention measures that would identify certain data, fingerprint data, identify spoof addresses, and more. The General Assembly did not fund this request last year, and we will make the request again this year.