Louisiana Secretary of State

From Ballotpedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Louisiana Secretary of State
General information
Office Type:  Partisan
Office website:  Official Link
2012-2013 FY Budget:  $72,350,926
Term limits:  None
Length of term:   4 years
Authority:  Louisiana Constitution, Article IV, Section 7
Selection Method:  Elected
Current Officeholder

Tom Schedler.jpg
Name:  John Thomas Schedler
Officeholder Party:  Republican
Assumed office:  November 22, 2010
Compensation:  $115,000
Next election:  2015
Last election:  October 22, 2011
Other Louisiana Executive Offices
GovernorLieutenant GovernorSecretary of StateAttorney GeneralTreasurerSuperintendent of EducationAgriculture CommissionerInsurance CommissionerNatural Resources CommissionerLabor CommissionerPublic Service Commission
The Secretary of State for Louisiana is one of the constitutional officers of the U.S. state of Louisiana. The secretary of state is popularly elected every four years, and re-election is not restricted by term limits. The officeholder serves as the chief election officer of the state, the official state archivist, and the keeper of the great seal of the state of Louisiana.

Current officeholder

The current officeholder is Tom Schedler. Schedler replaced former Secretary of State Jay Dardenne who was elected as Lieutenant Governor on November 2nd, 2010.[1] Prior to his elevation as Secretary of State, Schedler served 12 years in the Louisiana State Senate and two years as Chief Deputy to former Dardenne. The position is up for re-election in 2015.


Article 4, Section 7 of the Louisiana Constitution establishes a Department of State, headed by the office of Secretary of State:

There shall be a Department of State. The secretary of state shall head the department...


Article 4, Section 2 of the Louisiana Constitution enumerates the qualifications for holding the office of Secretary of State:

To be eligible for any statewide elective office, a person, by the date of his qualification as a candidate, shall have attained the age of twenty-five years, be an elector, and have been a citizen of the United States and of this state for at least the preceding five years. In addition, the attorney general shall have been admitted to the practice of law in the state for at least the five years preceding this election. During his tenure in office, a statewide elected official shall hold no other public office except by virtue of his elected office.
  • at least 25 years old
  • an elector
  • a United States citizen for the last five years
  • a resident of Louisiana for the last five years


Louisiana state government organizational chart

As with other state executive officers, the Secretary of State is elected to serve for a term of four years in 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. There is no term limit for this office. (Louisiana Constitution, Article IV § 3)



See also: Louisiana Secretary of State election, 2015

There is a regularly scheduled election for secretary of state in 2015. Tom Schedler (R) is eligible for re-election. The primary election will take place on October 24, 2015, with a runoff election on November 21, 2015, if no candidate receives 50 percent of the vote.


Article 4, Section 16 of the Louisiana Constitution outlines how vacancies in the office Secretary of State should be filled:

(A) A vacancy in a statewide elective office other than that of governor or lieutenant governor shall be filled by the first assistant. If the unexpired term exceeds one year, the first assistant shall serve only until the person elected as provided in Paragraph (B) of this Section takes office.

(B) If the unexpired term exceeds one year, the office shall be filled by election at the next regularly scheduled congressional or statewide election; however, if no such election date is available within one year of the vacancy, the office shall be filled by election at a special election called by the governor for such purpose.

If a vacancy of less than one year occurs in the office, the position is filled by the first assistant. If a vacancy of greater than one year occurs an election takes place at the next regularly scheduled election, or, in none are scheduled within a year of the vacancy, a special election is called by the governor.


Article 4, Section 7 of the Louisiana Constitution establishes a Department of State, headed by the office of Secretary of State:

There shall be a Department of State. The secretary of state shall head the department and shall be the chief election officer of the state. He shall prepare and certify the ballots for all elections, promulgate all election returns, and administer the election laws, except those relating to voter registration and custody of voting machines. He shall administer the state corporation and trademark laws; serve as keeper of the Great Seal of the State of Louisiana and attest therewith all official laws, documents, proclamations, and commissions; administer and preserve the official archives of the state; promulgate and publish all laws enacted by the legislature and retain the originals thereof; and countersign and keep an official registry of all commissions. He may administer oaths, and shall have other powers and perform other duties authorized by this constitution or provided by law.



The archives division is responsible for the identification, collection, preservation, maintenance, and public accessibility of the "records and artifacts" that reflect and represent the unique history of the state.[2]


The commercial division functions as the state's "filing office and repository for all corporations, business registrations, partnerships, limited liablility companies, limited liability partnerships, collection agencies, trade names, trademarks, and service marks."[3] The division also maintains a statewide database for filings under the Uniform Commercial Code.[3]


The commissions division is responsible for the certification of official state documents and for certifying the signature of a Louisiana state official on an unofficial document. Responsible for keeping the great seal of the state, the commissions division attests to the [[Governor of Louisiana|Governor's] (dead link)] signature by affixing the great seal and the Secretary of State's signature to all executive orders and proclamations, issues commission certificates, and maintains records of appointments the Governor makes to state boards and commissions.[4]

Commission certificates are also issued to elected state officials, state officials appointed by the Governor, notaries, and certain assistant District Attorneys.[4]


This division "is responsible for:

  • administering all laws governing voter registration and elections
  • maintaining the statewide voter registration system
  • scheduling elections and qualifying candidates for elections
  • purchasing and maintaining absentee and Election Day voting equipment
  • printing and distributing absentee ballots and regular ballots for voting machines
  • paying for all election expenses
  • compiling, reporting, and maintaining official election returns and statistics"[5]


The Secretary of State is tasked with preserving and maintaining important memorabilia relevant to the history of Louisiana. To this end, the museums division oversees the operations of a number of museums that highlight the people and culture of the state.[6]


This division manages the records of all commissioned notaries in Louisiana, maintains a searchable database of all notaries, and provides information on the qualifications for becoming a notary.[7]


"The publications division is responsible for the majority of the publishing done by the Secretary of State's office, ranging from the Acts of the Legislature to the "Louisiana Facts Brochure.""[8] The division also maintains the Official Parish Journal list, the bond registration program, and the will registry programs.[8]

Voter outreach

The mission of the voter outreach division is to encourage "citizens of Louisiana to protect and enrich their quality of life by exercising their rights and responsibilities as informed voters."[9] The division has four basic functions:

  1. Coordinate the elections for schools and private organizations as a means to encourage students and the community to think about voting and how it affects their lives
  2. Make presentations to schools and communities about the importance of voting
  3. Conduct and facilitate voter registration drives
  4. Support the registrar of voters and clerks of court in their efforts to recruit and inform voters by providing brochures and assisting with the voter registration process[9]

State budget

See also: Louisiana state budget and finances

The Secretary of State's budget for fiscal year 2012-2013 was $72,350,926.


See also: Compensation of state executive officers

The salary of the secretary, along with the rest of Louisiana's elected executives, is determined by the Louisiana State Legislature. Article IV, Section 4 requires that changes in compensation take effect in the term after they were passed.[10]

Louisiana Constitution, Article IV, Section 4

Compensation Section 4. Except as otherwise provided by this constitution, the compensation of each statewide elected official shall be provided by law. An increase in the salary of a statewide elected official shall not become effective until the commencement of the subsequent term for that office following the adoption or enactment of the increase.


In 2014, the secretary earned a salary of $115,000, according to the Council of State Governments.[11]


In 2013, the secretary of state's salary remained at $115,000.[12]


In 2012, the secretary of state was paid an estimated $115,000. This figure comes from the Council of State Governments.


In 2010, the Louisiana Secretary of State was paid an estimated $115,000 according to the Sunshine Review.[13]

Electoral history


Incumbent Tom Schedler, who was appointed to to replace outgoing secretary Jay Dardenne in 2010, announced in early 2011 he would seek re-election to a full four-year term. He is being challenged by one fellow Republican, State Rep. Walker Hines, and by Democrat New Orleans attorney Caroline Fayard. Primaries will be held on October 22, 2011, with the general election to follow on November 8.

Historical officeholders

Note: Ballotpedia's state executive officials project researches state official websites for chronological lists of historical officeholders. That information for the Louisiana 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 term Louisiana + Secretary + of + State

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

Louisiana Secretary of State News Feed

  • Loading...

Contact information


Capitol Address:
Executive - Secretary of State
Post Office Box 94125
Baton Rouge, LA 70804-9125

Phone: (225) 922-2880
Fax: (225) 922-2003
E-mail: admin@sos.louisiana.gov

See also

External links