PA – Pennsylvania
Secretary of State Pedro A. Cortés announced the following accomplishments by
the agency in 2016:
“This was a
tremendous year for the Department of State (DOS), and we have many things to be
proud of,” said Secretary Cortés. “We administered a fair, secure and accurate
election, strengthened our efforts to investigate and prosecute charities
fraud, and instituted numerous customer service upgrades for licensed
professionals and registered businesses.”
Voter Registration Users Reach Nearly 900,000
2016 election cycle, Pennsylvanians embraced Online Voter
(OVR). Thanks to the Department’s extensive social media efforts, by the time
we reached the October voter registration deadline for the November
presidential election, nearly 900,000 Pennsylvanians had used the OVR site to
register for the first time or update an existing registration.
Department continues to improve OVR. Pennsylvania became the first state
to introduce a digital signature
so that all eligible voters can complete their voter registration
applications entirely electronically. In June, DOS published a web API so that
organizations conducting voter registration drives could leverage the ease of
the OVR application and reduce the number of paper voter registration forms.
the Department announced the launch of Everyone.votesPA.com, a web-based
educational voter toolkit as well as a series of in-person trainings held
around the Commonwealth. The toolkit is designed to allow organizations
to “train the trainers” and inform voters about their voting rights under
ongoing effort to modernize election administration, the Department also
launched a text
so voters could access voter registration and other important election
information via text.
the Integrity of Elections
highly publicized and contentious presidential election year, the Department
was under immense scrutiny following allegations of potential voter fraud,
voter intimidation and voting machine vulnerabilities. The Department
continuously met and worked with stakeholders at the county, state and federal level to ensure the
security and integrity of the November 8 election. The Department also
held a press conference in October to address concerns and present information
regarding election administration in Pennsylvania and its 67
of the DOS commitment to increase the accuracy of voter registration rolls, the
Department joined the Electronic
Registration Information Center (ERIC). DOS will use the ERIC data to
remove duplicate records and voters who have died while confirming address
changes for voters who have moved both inside and outside of Pennsylvania.
Department also stepped up efforts to educate voters on their rights at the
polls. DOS published guidance on securing and
configuring electronic voting systems, voter
and rules in
effect at the polling place.
the Health and Safety of the Public
To better serve its licensees, the Bureau of
Professional and Occupational Affairs (BPOA) launched the first modules of
its new online Pennsylvania Licensing System (PALS) in October, greatly increasing
efficiency and cutting down on initial licensing and renewal processing times.
increased its oversight of all funeral directors and establishments by releasing a list of funeral
establishments that did not renew their facility licenses by the February 1
deadline. When first published, there were 98 non-renewed licenses listed. By
March 14, there were only two. The State Board of Funeral Directors also fined and revoked the licenses of the
funeral directors and establishments involved in a particularly egregious
the Financial Security and Safety of the Public
The Bureau of
Corporations and Charitable Organizations (BCCO) published the updated “A Guide
to Business Registration in Pennsylvania.” The Guide, which had not been
updated since 2011, is now available in hard copy and electronically.
every application for registration by a charitable organization was reviewed
and approved before the 10-day deadline for automatic deemed approval.
BCCO continued to upgrade and improve its
corporate filing system, the Statewide Organization Registration Database
(SWORD). The efforts paid off with the Bureau consistently meeting its goal of
processing filings in one day.
(SAC) regulates and monitors professional and amateur boxing, kickboxing, Mixed
Martial Arts and professional wrestling contests in the commonwealth.
In 2016, the
Commission hosted several high-profile national and international boxing
matches. In April, SAC hosted the PA Golden
an amateur boxing tournament, held in Harrisburg. In July, DOS assisted
with the historic boxing event, “Duelo del Siglo” (Duel of the Century), in
which American and Cuban amateur boxers sparred on the Roberto Clemente Bridge
Wanda Murren, (717) 783-1621