Maine Secretary of State
|Maine Secretary of State|
|Office website:||Official Link|
|Term limits:||4 two-year terms|
|Length of term:||Two years|
|Authority:||Maine Constitution, Article V, Part 2, The Executive Department|
|Selection Method:||Appointed by the governor|
|Assumed office:||January 7, 2005|
|Other Maine Executive Offices|
|Governor • Secretary of State • Attorney General • Treasurer • Auditor • Commissioner of Education • Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry Commissioner • Superintendent of Insurance • Labor Commissioner • Public Utilities Commission|
Previous officeholder was Charles Summers Jr.. Elected to the office by a Republican majority that controlled both houses of the State Legislature in 2010, was the first Republican named to the statewide public position in thirty-five years. 
Under Article V, Part II, Section I:
The Secretary of State shall be chosen biennially at the first session of the Legislature, by joint ballot of the Senators and Representatives in convention.
There are no specific qualifications for this office.
The Secretary of State is appointed by the governor and affirmed by a joint committee of both houses and then is reviewed by the senate. The committee approval stands unless the senate overrides it with a two-thirds majority vote. (Maine Constitution, Article V § 8)
- See also: State executives with term limits
The secretary of state is limited to four 2-year terms.
Vacancies are addressed under Article V, Part II, Section 1-A.
If a vacancy occurs the first deputy secretary of state fills the role until a new secretary is elected by the legislature.
Duties of the secretary of state include:
- Keeping the records of the state
- Attending the Governor, Senate and House of Representatives as required
- Keep and preserve the records of all official acts and proceedings of the Governor, Senate and House of Representatives
Role in the initiative process
Filing the initiative
The voter must submit a written application to the secretary of state which contains the names, addresses and signatures of 5 Maine registered voters. One of these voters must volunteer be responsible for receiving all the correspondence regarding the initiative. This application must be signed in the presence of the Secretary of State or a notary public and the full text of the initiative must be submitted with application.
Within 10 business days the secretary of state must review the application, reject, accept or provide a revised draft of the initiative legislation according to its legality and if it meets format guidelines. Upon reviewing this the applicant must sign their approval of the final language.
After receiving written consent from the applicant, the secretary of state must provide the ballot question to the applicant within 10 business days. Then Elections Division will provide an approved petition form to be circulated by the petitioners.
Verification and certification
The secretary of state shall review all petitions filed in the Department of the Secretary of State for a people's veto referendum under the Constitution of Maine.
The secretary of state shall determine the validity of the petition and issue a written decision stating the reasons for the decision within 30 days after the final date for filing.
The elections division
The Maine secretary of state is responsible for the state's election division. As such, the secretary of state's website contains comprehensive information about the state's initiatives, along with election results, a history of all initiatives ever to appear on the ballot in Maine, and other important information. See external links below for further information.
- See also: Compensation of state executive officers
Contact InformationCapitol Address:
Office of the Secretary
Matthew Dunlap, Secretary of State
148 State House Station
Augusta, Maine 04333-0148
Phone: (207) 626-8400
Fax: (207) 287-8598
- Citizen's Initiatives, on the SOS's official website
- Election Results, on the SOS's official website
- List of Secretaries of State of Maine
- Official Maine Secretary of State site