As secretary of state, Democrat Elaine Marshall is responsible for making sure businesses and lobbyists file the proper public disclosures. Her agency also pursues certain financial fraud cases.
Although many secretaries of state oversee elections, in North Carolina, that job goes to an appointed board of elections. Marshall does convene North Carolina's Electoral College, but otherwise isn't involved in elections.
Marshall was first elected secretary in 1996, becoming the first woman elected to statewide office in North Carolina. According to her official biography, Marshall "holds a bachelor's degree in home economics from the University of Maryland and a law degree from Campbell University. She has received honorary doctorates from Campbell, Lees-McRae College and Meredith College.
Marshall was the Democratic nominee for U.S. Senate in 2010, but she lost the general election to Republican Richard Burr.