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Indiana Secretary of State

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Indiana Secretary of State
General information
Office Type:  Partisan
Office website:  Official Link
2013 FY Budget:  $6,336,270
Term limits:  2 consecutive terms
Length of term:   4 years
Selection Method:  Elected
Current Officeholder

Connie Lawson.jpg
Name:  Connie Lawson
Officeholder Party:  Republican
Assumed office:  March 16, 2012
Compensation:  $76,892
Next election:  November 6, 2018
Last election:  November 4, 2014
Other Indiana Executive Offices
GovernorLieutenant GovernorSecretary of StateAttorney GeneralTreasurer • Auditors: AuditorExaminerSuperintendent of Public InstructionAgriculture DirectorInsurance CommissionerNatural Resources DirectorLabor CommissionerUtility Regulatory Commission
The Secretary of State for Indiana is one of five statewide, elected constitutional officers created by Indiana's Constitution. The secretary is responsible for "maintenance of state records and preservation of the state seal." He or she also charters new businesses, regulates the securities industry within Indiana, runs state elections and provides a number of services to the state's automobile dealers.

Current officeholder

The current officeholder is Connie Lawson.[1] She has served in this position since March 16, 2012. Lawson's predecessor Charlie White (R) was convicted of six felonies in February 2012, forcing him to vacate his seat two years ahead of his term's scheduled expiration. He was temporarily replaced by his deputy secretary, Jerry Bonnet, until Governor Mitch Daniels appointed Lawson, then a Republican state Senator, to fill the vacancy until White's term ends in 2015.[1]


The Indiana Secretary of State's powers, term of office, etc. are derived from Article VI of the Indiana Constitution.

Article 6, Section 1:

There shall be elected, by the voters of the state, a Secretary, an Auditor and a Treasurer of State...


Candidates for secretary of state, as with all Indiana state and local offices, must be registered to vote. He or she must also file a "statement of economic interest" regarding any possible financial interests a candidate may have in the office. Additionally, there are a variety of factors that can disqualify a potential candidate for secretary of state, including:[2]

  • Offering a bribe, threat or reward to procure their own election.
  • Having been convicted of a felon.
  • Having been previously removed from office.
  • Being a member of the U.S. armed forces


Indiana state government organizational chart

Secretaries of state are elected to four-year terms during federal midterm election years (2006, 2010, 2014, etc.) and take office on January 1 in the year following their election.[3] Elections occur on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November.[4]


See also: Indiana secretary of state election, 2014
Secretary of state of Indiana, 2014
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngConnie Lawson Incumbent 57.1% 762,223
     Democratic Beth White 39.5% 527,379
     Libertarian Karl Tatgenhorst 3.4% 45,393
Total Votes 1,334,995
Election Results via Indiana Secretary of State.

Term limits

Secretaries of state may only serve eight out of any twelve years, a de facto two consecutive term limit.[5]


The governor fills vacancies in the office of secretary of state by appointment; the appointee serves until the next election.[6]

Indiana Constitution, Article 5, Section 18

When, during a recess of the General Assembly, a vacancy shall happen in any office, the appointment to which is vested in the General Assembly; or when, at any time, a vacancy shall have occurred in any other State office, or in the office of Judge of any Court; the Governor shall fill such vacancy, by appointment, which shall expire, when a successor shall have been elected and qualified.


The secretary is responsible for "maintenance of state records and preservation of the state seal." He or she also charters new businesses, regulates the securities industry within Indiana, runs state elections and provides a number of services to the state's automobile dealers. The secretary of state also provides a variety of educational materials, from guides instructing entrepreneurs how to start a new business to voter and candidate registration information.


The office of the secretary of state has four divisions:

  • The Elections Division - responsible for overseeing elections, registering candidates, and monitoring campaign finance.
  • The Business Services Division - charters corporations, registers trademarks, notaries public, and liens under the Uniform Commercial Code, and issues apostilles.
  • The Securities Division - oversees the state's securities industry, as well as mortgage brokers, retirement facilities, and collection agencies. It is also responsible for administering state and federal securities laws.
  • The Dealer Division - responsible for the oversight and regulation of motor vehicle dealerships, including dealers for automobiles, watercraft, off-road vehicles and automobile salvage.

State budget

See also: Indiana state budget and finances

The Secretary of State's budget was $6,336,270 for the 2013-2014 fiscal year.[7]


See also: Compensation of state executive officers

The salaries of executive officers in Indiana are determined by the Indiana State Legislature. In 2007, the Indiana Senate passed SB 401, which tied annual salary increases to increases received by state employees. State executive officials are not eligible for salary increases if state employees do not receive increases to their salaries.[8]


In 2014, the secretary received a salary of $76,892, according to the Council of State Governments.[9]


In 2013, the secretary received a salary of $74,580. This figure comes from the Council of State Governments.[10]


In 2012, the secretary was paid an estimated $72,974. This figure comes from the Council of State Governments.

Historical officeholders Component

There have been 61 secretaries of state since 1816. Of the 61 officeholders, 34 were Republican and 23 were Democrat.[11]

Recent news

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Contact information


Capitol Address:
Indiana Secretary of State
201 Statehouse
Indianapolis, IN 46204

Phone: (317) 232-6531
Fax: (317) 233-3283

See also

External links

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