Effective immediately, divisions of the Office of the Secretary of State (OSOS) will suspend public access to critical in-person services until further notice amid concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic in Washington state. Despite closures to the public, the OSOS will remain fully operational.
After the announcement was made to the OSOS staff, Secretary of State Kim Wyman issued the following statement:
“The health and safety of my staff and those who visit our offices is paramount. In order to maintain a safe environment for everyone, we are suspending the majority of our in-person services until further notice, effective March 16. This means public access will be limited to a small number of transactions that require face-to-face interactions with staff from our office. A vast majority of public needs can be addressed online, by phone, or email.
“I want to assure the public the Office of the Secretary of State will remain fully in operation during this time; the majority of our services can be performed and accomplished online or via other virtual processes. We seek to always provide excellent customer service, and that effort will continue.
“I understand this is an uncertain and troubling time for many in our state and around the world. In spite of our collective concerns, I encourage everyone to continue doing their part to keep themselves, their families, co-workers, and neighbors safe by adhering to recommendations made by trusted sources, such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Washington State Department of Health.”
Washington’s Office of Secretary of State oversees a number of areas within state government, including managing state elections, registering corporations and charities, and governing the use of the state flag and state seal. The office also manages the State Archives and the State Library, documents extraordinary stories in Washington’s history through Legacy Washington, oversees the Combined Fund Drive for charitable giving by state employees, and administers the state’s Address Confidentiality Program to help protect survivors of crime.
More information about public closures to the OSOS offices can be found at www.sos.wa.gov/office/covid-19-response.aspx.