Kansas Secretary of State

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Kansas Secretary of State
General information
Office Type:  Partisan
Office website:  Official Link
2012 FY Budget:  $6,059,648
Term limits:  None
Length of term:   4 years
Authority:  Kansas Constitution, Article I § 1
Selection Method:  Elected
Current Officeholder

Kris Kobach.jpg
Name:  Kris Kobach
Officeholder Party:  Republican
Assumed office:  January 2011
Compensation:  $86,003
Next election:  November 6, 2018
Last election:  November 4, 2014
Other Kansas Executive Offices
GovernorLieutenant GovernorSecretary of StateAttorney GeneralTreasurerCommissioner of EducationAgriculture SecretaryInsurance CommissionerWildlife and Parks SecretaryLabor SecretaryCorporation Commission
The Secretary of State for Kansas is one of four statewide constitutional offices in Kansas. The secretary of state is publicly elected every four years. The office is responsible for overseeing the administration of all state and federal elections in the state.

Current officeholder

The current officeholder is Kris Kobach. Prior to serving as Kansas Secretary of State, Kobach was a law professor at the University of Missouri-Kansas City and a former Chairman of the Kansas Republican Party (2007-2009).[1]


The Secretary of State's powers are derived from Article 1 of the Kansas Constitution.

Article 1, Section 1:

The constitutional officers of the executive department shall be the governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state, and attorney general, who shall have such qualifications as are provided by law.


There are no constitutional or statutory qualifications for this office.[2]


Kansas state government organizational chart
See also: States with gubernatorial term limits, State legislatures with term limits

As with other executive officers, the secretary of state is elected to serve for a term of four years of length, which runs concurrently with the term of the governor. The election is held in November and the statewide official takes office the following January.


See also: Kansas secretary of state election, 2014
Secretary of State of Kansas, 2014
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngKris Kobach Incumbent 59.2% 508,926
     Democratic Jean Schodorf 40.8% 350,692
Total Votes 859,618
Election Results via Kansas Secretary of State.

Term limits

There is no term limit for this office. (Kansas Constitution, Article I § 1)


Kobach (R) defeated Democrat Chris Biggs in the 2010 general election, earning 59 percent of the vote.[3] Biggs was appointed to the position by Gov. Mark Parkinson in March 2010 following the resignation of 16-year office veteran Republican Ron Thornburgh.

Kansas Secretary of State, General Election, 2010
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngKris Kobach 59% 489,640
     Democratic Chris Biggs 37.2% 308,641
     Libertarian Phillip Horatio Lucas 2.1% 17,336
     Reform Party Derek Langseth 1.7% 13,896
Total Votes 829,513
Election Results via Kansas Secretary of State


Article 1, Section 11 addresses the legal procedure for filling Vacancies in Executive Offices.

When the office of secretary of state or attorney general is vacant, the governor shall fill the vacancy by appointment for the remainder of the term. If the secretary of state or attorney general is disabled, the governor shall name a person to assume the powers and duties of the office until the disability is removed.



The secretary of state is the chief elections officer of the state, administering elections and voter registration throughout the state. The office also files campaign finance reports and registers lobbyists. The duty of regulating lobbying and campaign finance is shared with the Kansas Governmental Ethics Commission.


The secretary operates the business filing center, which registers business entities, trademarks, trade names, and liens made pursuant to the uniform commercial code.

The secretary regulates a wide variety of businesses, including sports agents, trade unions, cemeteries, and funeral homes.


The secretary's publications section is responsible for publishing various legal and informational documents for the state. This includes statutory and administrative law publications such as session laws, regulations, and the state's gazette, the Kansas Register.

The secretary also operates "Safe at Home," the state's address confidentiality program and conducts census adjustments.

Dems seek to limit office's power

In December 2012, Democratic leaders said they planned to introduce two measures during the 2013 session to limit Kris Kobach's power as Secretary of State. The first bill, which Sen. Anthony Hensley (D) planned to introduce, would have restricted statewide elected officials to spend no more than 10 paid hours a week on non-official duties. This was mainly seen as a response to Kobach's work on immigration, which often took him out of the state.[4]

The second bill would have made county commissioners in the four largest counties hire election commissioners, preventing Kobach from appointing the positions. Currently elected county clerks oversee elections in 101 of the 105 counties, with the secretary of state appointing the other four.[4]


Note: Ballotpedia's state executive officials project researches state official websites for information that describes the divisions (if any exist) of a state executive office. That information for the Kansas Secretary of State has not yet been added. After extensive research we were unable to identify any relevant information on state official websites. If you have any additional information about this office for inclusion on this section and/or page, please email us.

State budget

See also: Kansas state budget and finances

The Secretary of State's budget for fiscal year 2012 was $$6,059,648.[5]


See also: Compensation of state executive officers

The salary of the secretary of state, along with other Kansas elected executives, is determined by the Kansas State Legislature. Article I, Section 13 maintains state executive salaries as legally fixed and may not be reduced during the current term, unless such a reduction applies to all salaried state officers.[6] However, under Article XV, Section 7 the legislature may reduce the salary of an elected officer for gross neglect of duty.[7]

Kansas Constitution, Article I, Section 15

Compensation of officers. The officers mentioned in this article shall at stated times receive for their services a such compensation as is established by law, which shall not be diminished during their terms of office, unless by general law applicable to all salaried officers of the state. Any person exercising the powers and duties of an office mentioned in this article shall receive the compensation established by law for that office.

Kansas Constitution, Article XV, Section 7

Salaries reduced for neglect of duty. The legislature may reduce the salaries of officers, who shall neglect the performance of any legal duty.


In 2014, the secretary received a salary of $86,003, according to the Council of State Governments.[8]


In 2013, the secretary received a salary of $86,003. This figure comes from the Council of State Governments.[9]


In 2012, the secretary of state was paid an estimated $86,003. This figure comes from the Council of State Governments.


In 2011, the Secretary of State earned a salary of $86,003.[10]

Historical officeholders

There have been 5 Kansas Territory Secretaries and 31 Kansas Secretaries of State since 1854. Of the 36 officeholders, 27 were Republican, 7 were Democrat and 2 were Populists.[11]

Recent news

This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the term Kansas + Secretary + of + State

All stories may not be relevant to this page due to the nature of the search engine.

Kansas Secretary of State News Feed

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Contact Information


Capitol Address:
Kansas Secretary of State
Memorial Hall, 1st Floor
120 SW 10th Avenue
Topeka, KS 66612-1594

Phone: (785) 296-4564
E-mail: sos@kssos.org

See also

External links

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Portions of this article were adapted from Wikipedia.