Arkansas Secretary of State

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Arkansas Secretary of State
General information
Office Type:  Partisan
Office website:  Official Link
2012 FY Budget:  $26,507,761
Term limits:  2 terms
Length of term:   4 years
Authority:  Constitution of Arkansas, Amendment 63, Article 6
Selection Method:  Elected
Current Officeholder

Mark Martin.jpg
Name:  Mark Martin
Officeholder Party:  Republican
Assumed office:  January 11, 2011
Compensation:  $54,305
Next election:  November 6, 2018
Last election:  November 4, 2014
Other Arkansas Executive Offices
GovernorLieutenant GovernorSecretary of StateAttorney GeneralTreasurerAuditorCommissioner of EducationAgriculture SecretaryInsurance CommissionerCommissioner of State LandsNatural Resources Exec. DirectorLabor DirectorPublic Service Commission
The Arkansas Secretary of State has jurisdiction over state election laws, ensuring uniform implementation throughout the state. The secretary of state also qualifies statewide and state district candidates and ballot initiatives, and provides voter education products and services. In addition to his or her election-related responsibilities, the incumbent registers businesses in the state and keeps the state capitol grounds.

Current officeholder

The current secretary is Republican Mark Martin, who was first elected in November 2010 and assumed office on January 11, 2011. He won re-election to a second term on November 4, 2014.

Before becoming secretary of state, Martin served three terms as a state representative, from 2004 to 2010. He was also president of M3 Engineering, an architecture, engineering and construction management firm. Previously, Martin was vice president of research and technology for Renfroe Engineering from 2002 to 2006 and president of PsyberSimula from 1998 to 2002. He also served as a nuclear engineering laboratory technician in the U.S. Navy.

Martin earned a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Arkansas. He and his wife, Sharon, have three children.[1]


The office of secretary of state is established by Amendment 63 to Article 6 of the Arkansas Constitution.[2]

Constitution of Arkansas, Amendment 63

The Executive Department of this State shall consist of a Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Secretary of State, Treasurer of State, Auditor of State, Attorney General and Commissioner of State Lands, all of whom shall keep their offices at the seat of government, and hold their offices for the term of four (4) years, and until their successors are elected and qualified.


The Arkansas Constitution requires all elected or appointed officeholders to be an elector. That is, they must fulfill the state's voter registration requirements -- being a U.S. citizen, a resident of Arkansas, at least 18 years old. Felons and citizens judged to be mentally incompetent by a court are also ineligible to vote and, by extension, to hold office.

Other requirements to complete a voter registration form -- essentially, qualifications to be an elector -- are given by Amendment 59, Section 6 of the constitution.

Incumbents may not hold any other state, federal, or civil office, and may not have ever been convicted of "embezzlement of public money, bribery, forgery, or other infamous crime."

Constitution of Arkansas, Article 19, Section 3

No persons shall be elected to, or appointed to fill a vacancy in, any office who does not possess the qualifications of an elector.

Constitution of Arkansas, Article 5, Section 9

No person hereafter convicted of embezzlement of public money, bribery, forgery or other infamous crime, shall be eligible to the General Assembly or capable of holding any office of trust or profit in this State.

Constitution of Arkansas, Amendment 51, Section 6

(6) The mail voter registration application form shall include the following questions along with boxes for the applicant to check "yes" or "no" in response:
(A) "Are you a citizen of the United States of America and an Arkansas resident?;"
(B) "Will you be eighteen (18) years of age on or before election day?;"
(C) "Are you presently adjudged mentally incompetent by a court of competent jurisdiction?;"
(D) "Have you ever pleaded guilty or nolo contendere to, or found guilty of a felony without your sentence having been discharged or pardoned?;" and
(E) "Do you claim the right to vote in another county or state?."
(7) The mail voter registration application form shall include the following statements immediately following the questions asked in subdivision (a)(6) of this section:
(A) "If you checked "No" in response to either questions A or B, do not complete this form.;"
(B) "If you checked "Yes" in response to one or more of questions C, D, or E, do not complete this form.;" and


Arkansas state government organizational chart

Arkansans elect their secretary of state for four-year terms during federal midterm election years (2006, 2010, 2014, etc.). Secretaries of state, like all Arkansas executives, served two year terms until 1982, when Amendment 63 to the Constitution of Arkansas increased the term length to its current level. The first elections held under the new system occurred in 1986, and every four years since.[3]


See also: Arkansas secretary of state election, 2014
Secretary of State of Arkansas, 2014
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngMark Martin Incumbent 60.6% 506,384
     Democratic Susan Inman 35.1% 292,878
     Libertarian Jacob Holloway 4.3% 36,159
Total Votes 835,421
Election Results via Arkansas Secretary of State.

Term limits

Secretaries of state, like all Arkansas executives, face an absolute limit of two terms in office.[4]


When the office of secretary of state becomes vacant "by death, resignation, or otherwise," the governor appoints a replacement to complete the unexpired term.[5]


The secretary of state is Arkansas' chief election officer; he or she maintains the state's election records, supervises voter registration and electronic voting systems, and collects campaign finance reports from candidates, donors and interest groups. The secretary's office also runs voter education and outreach programs to encourage greater voter participation through programs such as "Young Voter's Month." These programs also encourage knowledge of Arkansas history, the state capitol, and "citizenship."

The secretary's office handles business registration, licensing and Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) matters. It also keeps the state capitol building and grounds, and manages the capitol police.[6]


The Secretary of State is divided into seven divisions. These are:[6]

  • Authentication of Documents
  • Building and Grounds
  • Business and Commercial Services Division
  • Communications and Education
  • Elections
  • Financial and Business Office
  • Capital Security and tours

State budget

See also: Arkansas state budget and finances

The budget for the Arkansas Secretary of State's Office in Fiscal Year 2012 was $26,507,761.[7]


The compensation of all state constitutional officers is set by Amendment 70 to the Arkansas Constitution. Salaries can be adjusted each year by the Arkansas State Legislature, though salary increases cannot exceed the rate of inflation as measured by the Consumer Price Index.[8]


In 2014, the secretary received a salary of $54,305, according to the Council of State Governments.[9]


In 2010, the secretary received compensation in the amount of $54,594.[10]

Historical officeholders

Note: Ballotpedia's state executive officials project researches state official websites for chronological lists of historical officeholders. That information for the Arkansas Secretary of State has not yet been added because the information was unavailable on the relevant state official websites, or we are currently in the process of formatting the list for this office. If you have any additional information about this office for inclusion on this section and/or page, please email us.

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Contact Information


Capitol Address:
Office of Arkansas Secretary of State
Main Offices
State Capitol, RM 256
Little Rock, AR 72201

Phone: (501) 682-1010

See also

External links