Oklahoma Secretary of State
|Oklahoma Secretary of State|
|Office website:||Official Link|
|2012 FY Budget:||$3,389,000|
|Length of term:||4 years|
|Authority:||Article VI, Section 6|
|Selection Method:||Appointed by Governor|
|Assumed office:||November 8, 2013|
|Other Oklahoma Executive Offices|
|Governor • Lieutenant Governor • Secretary of State • Attorney General • Treasurer • Auditor • Superintendent of Education • Agriculture Commissioner • Insurance Commissioner • Natural Resources Commissioner • Labor Commissioner • Public Service Commission|
The current officeholder is Republican Chris Benge. He took over the position on November 8, 2013 to replace Larry Parman, who Gov. Mary Fallin (R) named as the new director of the state Department of Commerce and as her secretary of commerce.
Article VI, Section 1:
| A. The Executive authority of the state shall be vested in a Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Secretary of State, State Auditor and Inspector, Attorney General, State Treasurer, Superintendent of Public Instruction, Commissioner of Labor, Commissioner of Insurance and other officers provided by law and this Constitution, each of whom shall keep his office and public records, books and papers at the seat of government, and shall perform such duties as may be designated in this Constitution or prescribed by law.
B. The Secretary of State shall be appointed by the Governor by and with the consent of the Senate for a term of four (4) years to run concurrently with the term of the Governor.
Article VI, Section 3 of the Oklahoma Constitution establishes the qualifications of the office:
|No person shall be eligible to the office of Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Secretary of State, State Auditor and Inspector, Attorney General, State Treasurer or Superintendent of Public Instruction except a citizen of the United States of the age of not less than thirty-one (31) years and who shall have been ten (10) years next preceding his or her election, or appointment, a qualified elector of this state..|
- a citizen of the United States.
- at least 31 years old.
- a qualified elector of Oklahoma for the 10 preceding years.
In Oklahoma, the secretary of state is a position that is filled via appointment by the governor with the consent of the state senate. According to Article 6, Section 1 of the Oklahoma Constitution, the secretary serves a term of four years in length concurrent with that of the governor.
Under Article 6, Section 13 of the state constitution, in the event of a vacancy in the office the governor appoints a person to serve until a successor is either elected or appointed and qualified by law.
The secretary of state has a number of duties and responsibilities in several distinct areas:
- Executive functions: The secretary attests to the governor's signature, files all official gubernatorial acts, and certifies all executive orders, appointments, and proclamations.
- Court on Judiciary: The secretary designates five district judges to serve on the Appellate Division of the Court on Judiciary and eight district judges to serve on the Trial Division of the Court on Judiciary.
- Legislative Functions: The secretary maintains a record of all acts of the Oklahoma State Legislature.
- Initiative and Referendum Petitions: Statewide initiative and referendum petitions are filed in the office of secretary of state.
- Office of Administrative Rules: The office of secretary of state files state agency rules, rule making notices, and executive orders.
- Corporate Filing/Records Functions: The secretary's office maintains a database of business entities and any associated amendments, trade names, mergers, withdrawals and dissolutions.
- Notaries Public: The secretary appoints and commissions notaries public.
- Certification: The secretary copies and/or certifies documents filed by the corporate filing office, authenticates county court clerk signatures on documents, and certifies the signatures of public officials.
- Central Filing System: The secretary's office files and publishes information that allows buyers, commission merchants, and selling agents to identify farm products that are subject to a security interest.
- Trademarks: The secretary of state files applications of trademarks and issues certificates of registration, and also issues trademark renewals, assignments, and cancellations.
- Oaths and Loyalty Oaths: The secretary of state files an oath of office and a loyalty oath for every officer of a state agency, board, commission, court, institution, and member of the state legislature.
- Public Meeting Notices: All state agencies, boards, commissions and public trusts must file notices of their meetings with the secretary's office.
- Athlete Agent Registration: The office files registration paperwork for all athlete agents.
- Summons: The secretary acts as a registered agent for all business entities, unless an additional agent has been appointed, and for any domestic corporation whose agent has resigned.
- Transmitting Utility and Railroad Mortgages: The office files every mortgage, deed of trust, and supplementary instruments of all utility corporations and companies.
- Invention Developer Bonds: The office maintains copies of inventor's surety bonds after they have been approved by the attorney general.
- Surface Damage Bonds: Every mineral owner or lessee who drills or prepares to drill for oil or gas is required to file a corporate surety bond, letter of credit from a bank, cash, or a CD. The secretary of state files and records each of these bonds.
- Other Duties: Additional duties include filing and/or certifying policy statements of each public institution of higher education, personality rights as successor-in-interest, public trust indentures and amendments thereto, preliminary and final official statements, facsimile signatures, bonds of public officials and employees.
- Accounting Division
- Administration Division
- Business Services Division
- Central Filing Division
- Executive and Legislative Services Division
- Information Services Division
- Notary Division
- Office of Administrative Rules
The budget for the Secretary of State's office in Fiscal Year 2012 was $3,389,000.
- See also: Compensation of state executive officers
|Secretary||Start of term|
|Bill Cross (D)||November 16, 1907|
|Thomas Smith (D)||Appointed August 6, 1910|
|B. F. Harrison (D)||January 9, 1911|
|H. G. Oliver (D)||Appointed January 2, 1915|
|S. L. Lyon (D)||January 11, 1915|
|Joe Morris (D)||January 13, 1919|
|R. A. Sneed (D)||January 8, 1923|
|Graves Leeper (D)||January 10, 1927|
|R. A. Sneed (D)||January 6, 1931|
|Frank C. Carter (D)||January 15, 1935|
|C. C. Childers (D)||January 9, 1939|
|Frank C. Carter (D)||January 11, 1943|
|Katherine Manton (D)||Appointed November 8, 1946|
|Wilburn Cartwright (D)||January 13, 1947|
|John D. Conner (D)||January 8, 1951|
|Andy Anderson (D)||January 10, 1955|
|John D. Conner (D)||January 12, 1959|
|Wm. N. Christian (D)||Appointed August 31, 1959|
|James M. Bullard (D)||January 14, 1963|
|John Rogers (D)||January 9, 1967|
|John Rogers (D)||January 11, 1971|
|John Rogers (D)||January 13, 1975|
|Jerome Byrd (D)||Appointed July 1, 1975|
|Jeannette B.Edmondson (D)||February 1, 1979|
|Jeannette B.Edmondson (D)||January 10, 1983|
|Hannah D. Atkins (D)||January 12, 1987|
|John Kennedy (D)||January 14, 1991|
|Glo Henley (D)||Appointed February 2, 1994|
|Tom J. Cole (R)||January 9, 1995|
|Mike Hunter (R)||Appointed March 16, 1999|
|Kay Dudley (R)||Appointed October 16, 2002|
|M. Susan Savage (D)||January 16, 2003|
|Glenn Coffee (R)||January 10, 2011|
|Michelle Day (R)||Appointed February 1, 2013|
|Larry Parman (R)||Appointed March 1, 2013|
|Chris Benge (R)||November 8, 2013|
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2300 North Lincoln Boulevard
Oklahoma City, OK 73105
Phone: (405) 521-3911
Fax: (405) 521-3771
- Governor: Mary Fallin (R)
- Lieutenant Governor: Todd Lamb (R)
- Attorney General: Scott Pruitt (R)
- Auditor and Inspector: Gary Jones (R)
- Secretary of State: Chris Benge (R)
- Commissioner of Agriculture: Jim Reese (R)
- Treasurer of State: Ken Miller (R)
- Oklahoma Constitution
- KTUL, "Okla. governor names Parman to Commerce Dept. post," October 10, 2013
- Sos.OK.gov, "About the office of the Oklahoma secretary of state," accessed September 27, 2011
- Office of Management and Enterprise Services, "FY-2014 Executive Budget Historical Document," accessed April 11, 2013
- Council of State Governments, "SELECTED STATE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICIALS: ANNUAL SALARIES," January 28, 2014
- The Council of State Governments, "The Book of States 2010 Table 4.11," accessed May 14, 2011
- Oklahoma Secretary of State, Secretaries of State since statehood, Accessed July 23, 2013