Our Secretary of State, William Francis Galvin, has streamlined the process. His office added Web-based applications, for example. However, I have been unable to find either:
- The number of requests annually in the past five years, from the governor's office, which accepts those
- The number of certificates issued annually in the past five years, from Galvin's office, which processes those
In Galvin's office, I was routed to eight people. The prepenultimate said that only the governor's office would provide that. The penultimate sent me to the head of public records. I left a voice mail for her on September 23rd, to which she has not replied.
Calling Mitt Romney's office, I went through four people and was sent back to Galvin. I did not bite this time and called Romney's office again. Then, I ended up with an eager newbie who tried unsuccessfully.
She called up the databae and said it was not built in a way that would query for the number of solemnization certificates requested per year. She was sure that those were in there, but did not know how to get them out.
The story at Galvin's office was similar. Yes, they were in charge of the commonwealth's public records and yes those would be public records, but no, no one had those data.
At the end of the morning of the 23rd, I drafted a request letter to Galvin's office. I wait.