Florida Secretary of State

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Florida Secretary of State
General information
Office Type:  Partisan
Office website:  Official Link
2013-2014 FY Budget:  $8,584,896
Term limits:  None
Length of term:   Serves at the pleasure of the governor
Authority:  Florida Statutes, 20.10
Selection Method:  Appointed by the governor
Current Officeholder

Ken Detzner.jpg
Name:  Ken Detzner
Officeholder Party:  Republican
Assumed office:  January 18, 2012
Compensation:  $140,000
Other Florida Executive Offices
GovernorLieutenant GovernorSecretary of StateAttorney GeneralChief Financial OfficerCommissioner of EducationAgriculture CommissionerInsurance CommissionerEnvironmental Protection SecretaryEconomic Opportunity DirectorPublic Service Commission
The Florida Secretary of State is a constitutional officer of the state government of Florida, established by the original 1838 state Constitution. The secretary's duties include overseeing the state's election process, acting as Florida's "chief cultural officer," and registering the state's businesses. The secretary serves at the pleasure of the governor.

Current officeholder

The current secretary of state is Republican Ken Detzner. He was appointed in February 2012 by Gov. Rick Scott to replace Kurt Browning. Scott reappointed Detzner to the secretary's office for his second term as governor, in January 2015.[1]


The office of secretary of state is established by state law.[2]

Florida Statutes, 20.10

There is created a Department of State. (1) The head of the Department of State is the Secretary of State.


There are no particular qualifications required of secretaries of state.


Florida state government organizational chart

The secretary of state is appointed by the governor subject to the confirmation of the state Senate. He serves at the governor's pleasure.[2] The secretary of state was formerly an elected officer, but was made appointive by a constitutional amendment in 1998.

Florida Statutes, 20.10

The head of the Department of State is the Secretary of State. The Secretary of State shall be appointed by the Governor, subject to confirmation by the Senate, and shall serve at the pleasure of the Governor.

Term limits

There are no term limits associated with the office of secretary of state.


The Governor of Florida fills a vacancy in any "state, district, or county office" by appointing a replacement to serve out the remainder of the term.[3] The Florida Senate, as with standard appointments, must confirm the vacancy appointment. If the Senate refuses to confirm, the replacement officeholder must vacate his office within 30 days.[4]


Like the corresponding officials in other states, the original charge of the Secretary of State — to be the "Keeper of the Great Seal" — has expanded greatly since the office was first created. According to the state website, "Today, the Secretary of State is Florida’s Chief of Elections, Chief Cultural Officer, the State Protocol Officer, and the head of the Department of State." The secretary's role as a cultural officer is somewhat unique among the states; the Florida Division of Cultural Affairs, which the secretary oversees, sponsors a number of grants, awards, exhibitions and other artistic or cultural projects to showcase Florida culture. The secretary of state's office also manages the state's library and information services system, another somewhat unusual role[5]


  • Administrative Services
  • Corporations
  • Cultural Affairs
  • Elections
  • Historical Resources
  • Library and Archives
  • Communications
  • General Counsel
  • Inspector General
  • Legislative Affairs
  • Ombudsman's Office[6]

Role in the ballot initiative process

Filing the Petition

Before proponents can begin to circulate a petition, they must first register with the Division of Elections as a Political Committee. The sponsoring political committee is then required to submit the proposed initiative amendment to the Division of Elections for format approval. This will only focus on the correct format of the initiative, not the legality of it.

Verification of Signatures

The sponsoring political committee shall then submit the signed petition forms to the Supervisor of Elections in the county in which the forms were circulated for verification of signatures. It is the responsibility of the sponsoring political committee to ensure the signed forms are properly filed with, or if misfiled, forwarded to, the Supervisor of Elections in the county in which the signee is a registered voter.

Cost of verifying signatures
The sponsoring political committee will be charged ten cents for every signature checked by the Supervisor of Elections. If the committee is unable to pay the charges without imposing an undue burden on the organization, a written certification of such inability given under oath may be submitted to the Division of Elections to have signatures verified at no charge. Then each division of elections will circulation the signature results to each Supervisor of Elections in the state. In order for signatures to be verified prior to the deadline, sponsoring political committee can submit petitions to the Supervisors of Elections as far in advance of the deadline as possible.

Certification of Petitions
The Supervisors of Elections shall submit to the Division of Elections a certificate indicating the total number of signatures checked, verified and the distribution by congressional district. Each Supervisor of Elections shall submit a copy of one petition showing the text of the constitutional amendment with each certificate of verification. All certifications must be received by the Division of Elections no later than 5:00 p.m. on February 1 of the year in which the election is held.

Certification of Ballot Position
If signatures meet the verification process, the secretary of state shall issue a certificate of ballot position to the sponsoring political committee.

State budget

See also: Florida state budget and finances

The budget for the Secretary of State’s Office in Fiscal Year 2013-2014 was $8,584,896.[7]


See also: Compensation of state executive officers

The salaries of elected executive officials in Florida are determined by state law as mandated in the Florida Constitution. Article II, Section 5 of the state constitution states that compensation of state officers is determined by the Florida State Legislature.[8]

Text of Section 5:

Public Officers

(a) No person holding any office of emolument under any foreign government, or civil office of emolument under the United States or any other state, shall hold any office of honor or of emolument under the government of this state. No person shall hold at the same time more than one office under the government of the state and the counties and municipalities therein, except that a notary public or military officer may hold another office, and any officer may be a member of a constitution revision commission, taxation and budget reform commission, constitutional convention, or statutory body having only advisory powers.

(b) Each state and county officer, before entering upon the duties of the office, shall give bond as required by law, and shall swear or affirm:

“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support, protect, and defend the Constitution and Government of the United States and of the State of Florida; that I am duly qualified to hold office under the Constitution of the state; and that I will well and faithfully perform the duties of (title of office) on which I am now about to enter. So help me God.”,and thereafter shall devote personal attention to the duties of the office, and continue in office until a successor qualifies.

(c) The powers, duties, compensation and method of payment of state and county officers shall be fixed by law.[9]


In 2014, the secretary of state received a salary of $140,000, according to the Council of State Governments.[10]


In 2013, the secretary of state received a salary of $140,000, according to the Council of State Governments.[11]


In 2012, the secretary of state received a salary of $140,000, according to the Council of State Governments.

Historical officeholders

Note: Ballotpedia's state executive officials project researches state official websites for chronological lists of historical officeholders. That information for the Florida 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.

Recent news

This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the terms "Florida Secretary of State Detzner."

Some of the stories below may not be relevant to this page due to the nature of Google's news search engine.

Florida Secretary of State - Google News Feed

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Contact info

Capitol Address:

Florida Department of State
R. A. Gray Building
500 South Bronough Street
Tallahassee, FL 32399-0250

Phone: (850) 245-6527
Fax: (850) 245-6125
E-mail: secretaryofstate@dos.state.fl.us

See also

External links