Massachusetts Secretary of State
|Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth|
|Office website:||Official Link|
|2013 FY Budget:||$220,670,341|
|Length of term:||4 years|
|Authority:||Massachusetts General Laws, Title 2, Chapter 9, Section 1|
|Name:||William Francis Galvin|
|Next election:||November 6, 2018|
|Last election:||November 4, 2014|
|Other Massachusetts Executive Offices|
|Governor • Lieutenant Governor • Secretary of State • Attorney General • Treasurer • Auditor • Secretary of Education • Agriculture Commissioner • Insurance Commissioner • Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs • Secretary of Labor and Workforce Development • Public Utilities Commission|
- 1 Current officeholder
- 2 Authority
- 3 Qualifications
- 4 Elections
- 5 Vacancies
- 6 Duties
- 7 Divisions
- 8 State budget
- 9 Compensation
- 10 Historical officeholders
- 11 Recent news
- 12 Contact information
- 13 See also
- 14 External links
- 15 References
The current officeholder is Democrat William F. Galvin. He was first elected to the statewide position in 1994 and is now serving in his sixth consecutive term, having won re-election in 1998, 2002, 2006, 2010 and 2014.
The position of secretary is established by Title 2, Chapter 9, Section 1 of the General Laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts:
"There shall be a department of the state secretary under his supervision and control, organized as provided in this chapter." 
According to Article XVII of the Massachusetts Constitution, an executive officer of the commonwealth must "have been an inhabitant of this commonwealth five years next preceding his election or appointment."
Massachusetts elects secretaries of the commonwealth in the midterm elections, that is, even years that are not presidential election years. For Massachusetts, 2018, 2022, 2026 and 2030 are all secretary election years.
|Secretary of State of Massachusetts, 2014|
|Democratic||William Galvin Incumbent||67.4%||1,395,616|
|Election Results via Massachusetts Secretary of State.|
If the office of the secretary becomes vacant during annual or special session of the general court, the public elects a successor, otherwise, "it shall be supplied by the governor by appointment, with the advice and consent of the council."
Role in the initiative process
Massachusetts is one of the few states whose guidelines do not require proponents to file initiatives with the secretary of commonwealth first. In this state, one must first assemble 10 registered electors to sponsor a ballot. Then, with the full text of the ballot in had, they must arrive at the Election Commission or the board of registrars to file the petition. This must be done by the first Wednesday of August.
After the proponents have proven that they are registered voters, the attorney general will write a summary for the ballot and have it returned to the proponents. This is when the secretary of commonwealth file both the ballot language and the summary of the ballot. The secretary will then prepare blank petition forms with the summary printed on it for signature gathering. These forms will be available within 14 days of the submission. In order to pick these petition forms up from the printer, proponents must have an authorization slip from the secretary of commonwealth. Enough petition forms will be supplied to gather more than the required amount, but petitioners may print as many extra copies as they like.
Signatures must be filed by the first Wednesday of December. After the necessary number of signatures have been certified and subsequently filed with the secretary of the commonwealth, the secretary transmits the initiative petition to the House Clerk for legislative action on the first legislative day of the year.
Divisions of the Secretary of Commonwealth include:
- Address Confidentiality Division
- Citizen Information Service
- Corporations Division
- Elections Division
- Massachusetts Archives
- Public Record/Lobbyist
- Registry of Deeds
- Securities Division
- State Records Center
- See also: Massachusetts state budget and finances
The Office of the Secretary of the Commonwealth's budget for the 2013 fiscal year was $220,670,341.
- See also: Compensation of state executive officers
See statutes: M.G.L. Ch.9 §1
Massachusetts General Laws set the salary for the Secretary of the Commonwealth at $124,920, with an additional amount to be calculated according to the adjustment percentage addressed in the Massachusetts State Legislators Compensation Amendment.  In 1998, the Massachusetts State Legislators Compensation Amendment was passed, prohibiting state legislators from altering their base pay. Beginning in January 2001, compensation for public officials instead is adjusted (increased or decreased) every two years corresponding with changes in median household income for Massachusetts’s residents.
In 2014, a seven member Special Advisory Commission was created by Section 239 of the Articles of Amendment to the Constitution to review and compare the compensation of Massachusetts’s public officials to other states. 
Note: Ballotpedia's state executive officials project researches state official websites for chronological lists of historical officeholders. That information for the Massachusetts 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.
This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the terms "Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth."
- Some of the stories below may not be relevant to this page due to the nature of Google's news search engine.
Contact informationCapitol Address:
Secretary of the Commonwealth
One Ashburton Place, Room 1611
Boston, MA 02108-1512
Phone: (617) 727-7030
Toll Free Phone: 1-800-392-6090
Fax: (617) 742-4528
- Massachusetts state executive offices
- Massachusetts state executive officials
- Massachusetts Constitution
- Secretary of the Commonwealth, "Citizen's Guide to Massachusetts State Services," accessed April 30, 2015
- William Francis Galvin, Secretary of the Commonwealth of Massaschusetts, "Home," accessed January 17, 2013
- Massachusetts Legislature, "General Laws Title 2, Chapter 9, Section 1," accessed January 17, 2013
- Massachusetts Legislature, "Constitution," accessed September 18, 2012
- The Massachusetts Legislature, "FY 2013 Final Budget," accessed June 27, 2013
- 189th General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, “General Laws,” accessed February 25, 2015
- Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth, "Setting Compensation for State Legislators," accessed February 24, 2015
- Outside Section 239, "Special Advisory Commission: Compensation of MA Public Officials," accessed February 23, 2015
- University of Massachusetts Boston, “Special advisory commission on elected officials compensation," accessed February 23, 2015
- Council of State Governments, "SELECTED STATE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICIALS: ANNUAL SALARIES," accessed December 1, 2014
- Council of State Governments, Table 4.11 Selected State Administrative Officials: Annual Salaries," accessed January 24, 2014
- The Council of State Governments, "The Book of States 2010 Table 4.11," accessed June 25, 2011
- Massachusetts Secretary of State, "Contact Us" accessed January 17, 2013