Secretary's office bridges state miles with Internet

Secretary's office bridges state miles with Internet

Wyoming doesn't have a lieutenant governor, so like many folks in this sparsely populated state, the secretary of state, Joseph B. Meyer, and his employees shoulder extra duties.

A staff of 22 keeps track of corporations, trademarks, securities, elections and notaries public.

The starting point for much of the secretary of state's office information is the Web site, at soswy.state.wy.us.

The site boasts a searchable directory of every corporation in the state. Every night after 5, staff members update the Microsoft FoxPro Version 2.6 database, said Andrea T. Byrne, information technology specialist. The site also hosts a searchable database of more than 3,600 rules and regulations that are updated each day, Byrne said.

The site receives 770,000 visits each year. Byrne defined a visit as 'more than a glance, a longer pause than surfing.' Considering the state has a population of 450,000, that's a little less than twice as many Web visits as there are people in the state.

All the PCs in the office are high-end Pentium PCs from Compaq Computer Corp. running Corel Corp.'s WordPerfect Office 2000. 'When we first moved to a LAN, somebody decided to use WordPerfect, and we stayed with it ever since,' Byrne said.

The Web and IT are fast becoming ways to bridge the state's lonesome 97,000 square miles, Byrne said. 'If somebody were to come in and say they were going to remove all the computers, just about everybody in Wyoming would pack up and leave,' she said.

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