Nebraska Secretary of State
|Nebraska Secretary of State|
|Office website:||Official Link|
|2012-13 FY Budget:||$444,708|
|Length of term:||4 years|
|Authority:||Nebraska Constitution, Article IV, Section I|
|Name:||John A. Gale|
|Next election:||November 4, 2014|
|Last election:||November 2, 2010|
|Other Nebraska Executive Offices|
|Governor • Lieutenant Governor • Secretary of State • Attorney General • Treasurer • Auditor • Commissioner of Education • Agriculture Director • Insurance Director • Natural Resources Director • Labor Commissioner • Public Service Commission|
- 1 Current officeholder
- 2 Authority
- 3 Qualifications
- 4 Vacancies
- 5 Duties
- 6 Divisions
- 7 State budget
- 8 Compensation
- 9 Historical officeholders
- 10 Elections
- 11 Recent news
- 12 Contact information
- 13 See also
- 14 External links
- 15 References
The current officeholder is John A. Gale. He was first elected to the statewide governmental position in 2002 and was subsequently re-elected in 2006 and 2010. After graduating from law school, Gale served as Legislative assistant to United States Senator Roman Hruska in Washington D.C. in 1968. He returned to Nebraska in 1970, taking on the role of Assistant United State Attorney in the state for a year. Gale then moved to North Platte in 1971 and started his own law practice, operating it for twenty-nine years until December 2000 when he was appointed by Governor Mike Johanns to fill a vacancy created with the resignation of Scott Moore.
Under Article IV, Section I:
The executive officers of the state shall be the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Secretary of State, Auditor of Public Accounts, State Treasurer, Attorney General, and the heads of such other executive departments as set forth herein or as may be established by law.
There are no specific qualifications for this office.
As established by Article IV, Section 11 of the Nebraska Constitution, in the event of a vacancy in the office of secretary of state, the governor fills the office by appointment. The appointee serves until a successor is elected and qualified.
The secretary of state serves as the chief election officer of the state. The Elections Division is responsible for the election process in Nebraska. Duties include accepting filings and tabulating results for statewide, legislative, judicial retention and certain district elections; accepting filings for statewide initiative and referendum petitions; administering election law; and supervising the conduct of elections. The division is responsible for implementing reforms under the federal Help America Vote Act (HAVA).
The secretary of state is also charged with the duty to educate the voters in Nebraska. This is does though the Voter Information Pamphlet, Public Hearings and publication of the ballot.
Role in the initiative process
The first step in filing an initiative in Nebraska is to submit a copy of the text and the object clause for the petition to the secretary of state's office. The sponsor also needs to supply a sworn list of sponsors when submitting the initiative.
The secretary of state then sends the language to the Revisor of Statutes who reviews the language to see if it fits into the constitution or statutes clearly and uniformly. This process must be completed within 10 days before it must be returned to the Secretary of State. Sponsors are informed of the recommended changes by the secretary of state but may choose to accept or reject the office's suggestions. These changes remain confidential for the duration of the 5 day review but are released as public record after the language is settled.
Once the final form is given to the sponsor the language of the measure may not be changed or it becomes necessary the entire process must start again.
When sponsors submit the petitions to the secretary of state, they must submit it no less than four months prior to the general election with all the signatures separated by county. The secretary of state will then check that there are at least the minimum required amount of signatures before beginning the verification process.
If there are enough signatures the petitions are sent to the local election officials to be compared with he voter registration records. This process must be completed in 40 days after receiving the signatures, though in some circumstances an additional 10 days is allowed.
When the signatures are verified, the measure is placed on the general election ballot.
There are seven main divisions within the office of the Secretary of State:
- Business registrations
- Occupational licensing
- State rules and regulations
- Records management
- International relations
- Youth civics programs
The budget for the Secretary of State's office in Fiscal Year 2012-13 was $444,708.
- See also: Compensation of state executive officers
The officers provided for in this article shall receive such salaries as may be provided by law. Such officers, or such other officers as may be provided for by law, shall not receive for their own use any fees, costs, or interest upon public money in their hands.
In 2013, the secretary's salary remained at $85,000.
There were four Secretaries of Nebraska Territory from 1854-1867.
|List of Former Officeholders from 1854-1867|
|1||Thomas B. Cuming||1854-1858|
|2||John B. Motley||1858|
|3||J. Sterling Morton||1858-1861|
|4||Algernon S. Paddock||1861-1867|
There have been 26 Nebraska Secretaries of State since 1867. Of the 26 officeholders, 21 were Republican, 4 were Democratic and 1 was Democratic/Populist.
|List of Former Officeholders from 1867-Present|
|1||Thomas P. Kennard||1867-1871||Republican|
|2||William H. James||1871-1873||Republican|
|3||John J. Gosper||1873-1875||Republican|
|5||S. J. Alexander||1879-1883||Republican|
|6||Edward P. Roggen||1883-1887||Republican|
|7||Gilbert L. Laws||1887-1895||Republican|
|8||Benjamin R. Cowdery||1889-1891||Republican|
|9||John C. Allen||1891-1895||Republican|
|10||Joel A. Piper||1895-1897||Republican|
|11||William F. Porter||1897-1901||Democratic/Populist|
|12||George W. Marsh||1901-1905||Republican|
|14||George C. Junkin||1907-1911||Republican|
|16||Charles W. Pool||1915-1919||Democratic|
|17||Darius M. Amsberry||1919-1923||Republican|
|18||Charles W. Pool||1923-1927||Democratic|
|20||Harry R. Swanson||1933-1941||Democratic|
|22||James S. Pittenger||1951-1953||Democratic|
|24||Allen J. Beermann||1971-1995||Republican|
The Office of Secretary of State is a publicly elected position with elections held every four years. Elections are held in November and officers assume their duties the following January. There are no term limits. (Nebraska Constitution, Article IV § 1)
To view the electoral history dating back to 2002 for the office of Nebraska Secretary of State, Click [show] to expand the section.
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Nebraska Secretary of State
Post Office Box 94608
Lincoln, NE 68509-4608
Phone: (402) 471-2554
Fax: (402) 471-3237
- Governor: David Heineman (R)
- Lieutenant Governor: Lavon Heidemann (R)
- Attorney General: Jon Bruning (R)
- Auditor of State: Mike Foley (R)
- Secretary of State: John A. Gale (R)
- Secretary of Agriculture: Greg Ibach
- Treasurer of State: Don Stenberg (R)
- Office of the Nebraska Secretary of State
- Election administration website of the Nebraska Secretary of State
- Initiative and Referendum Process
- Nebraska Secretary of State's Official Page, "John A. Gale," accessed October 2, 2012
- Nebraska Secretary of State, "About the Office" accessed August 4, 2012
- Nevada Legislative Counsel Bureau, "2011-2013 General Fund Appropriations Summary," accessed April 17, 2013
- Council of State Governments, Table 4.11 Selected State Administrative Officials: Annual Salaries, accessed January 30, 2014
- 2012-13 Nebraska Bluebook, "State Executive Branch," accessed July 31, 2013