Washington Secretary of State

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Washington Secretary of State
General information
Office Type:  Partisan
Office website:  Official Link
2011-2013 FY Budget:  $75,450,000
Term limits:  None
Length of term:   4 years
Authority:  Washington Constitution, Article 3, Section 2
Selection Method:  Elected
Current Officeholder

Kim Wyman.jpg
Name:  Kim Wyman
Officeholder Party:  Republican
Assumed office:  January 16, 2013
Compensation:  $116,950
Next election:  November 8, 2016
Last election:  November 6, 2012
Other Washington Executive Offices
GovernorLieutenant GovernorSecretary of StateAttorney GeneralTreasurerAuditorSuperintendent of Education• • Agriculture CommissionerInsurance CommissionerNatural Resources CommissionerLabor CommissionerPublic Service Commissioner
The Secretary of State for Washington is a public elected executive state governmental official in Washington. The officeholder is state's chief elections officer, chief corporations officer, and supervisor of the State Archives. The secretary of state in Washington is charged with overseeing key parts of the state's ballot initiative process.

Current officeholder

The current officeholder in the position is Republican Kim Wyman. She was first elected in 2012 and assumed office on January 16, 2013.[1]


Article 3 of the state constitution establishes the state's executive offices.

Article III, Section 2:

Executive Department. The executive department shall consist of a governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state, treasurer, auditor, attorney general, superintendent of public instruction, and a commissioner of public lands, who shall be severally chosen by the qualified electors of the state at the same time and place of voting as for the members of the legislature.


Article 3, Section 25 of the state constitution establishes the qualifications of the office:

Qualifications, Compensation, Offices Which May Be Abolished. No person, except a citizen of the United States and a qualified elector of this state, shall be eligible to hold any state office...
  • a citizen of the United States
  • a qualified elector in Washington
Former Washington Secretaries of State. From left to right: Bruce Chapman (1975-1981); Current officeholder Kim Wyman; Sam Reed (2001-2013); Ralph Munro (1981-2001).


In the event of a vacancy in this office, the governor shall fill the vacancy by appointment. The term of the appointee expires when a successor has been elected and qualified.


Some of the secretary of state's duties include:

  • Supervising state and local elections, and certifying the results of state primaries and general elections.
  • Filing and verifying initiatives and referendums.
  • Producing and distributing the state voters pamphlet and election-notice legal advertising.
  • Registering and licensing private corporations, limited partnerships and trademarks.
  • Registering individuals, organizations and commercial fundraisers involved in charitable solicitations.
  • Administering the state's Address Confidentiality Program for survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking.
  • Collecting and preserving the historical records of the state, and making those records available for research.
  • Coordinating implementation of the state's records management laws.
  • Serving as chairman of the state Productivity Board.
  • Affixing the State Seal and attesting to commissions, pardons, and other documents to which the signature of the Governor is required.
Retired Secretary of State Sam Reed addressing a joint session of the Washington Legislature.
  • Regulating use of the State Seal.
  • Filing or attesting to official acts of the legislature and governor.
  • Certifying to the legislature all matters legally required to be certified.


  • State Archives
  • Corporations
  • Elections
  • State Library

State budget

See also: Washington state budget and finances

The budget for the Secretary of State's Office in Fiscal Year 2011-2013 was $75,450,000.[2]


Washington state government organizational chart

In Washington, the governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state, treasurer, auditor, attorney general, superintendent of public instruction and commissioner of public lands are elected every four years. Elections are held in November and winners assume office the following January, serving until their successors are elected and qualified.

Washington elects their state executives in presidential years including 2016, 2020 and 2024.

Full history

Term limits

There are no term limits for this office.


See also: Compensation of state executive officers

The secretary of state's salary is addressed in Article III, Section 17 of the Washington Constitution. The constitution initially set the annual salary of the secretary of state at $2,500 but provided for the amount to be raised to a maximum of $3,000 at the discretion of the Washington State Legislature. Since 1986, the secretary of state's salary is determined by the Washington Citizens' Commission on Salaries for Elected Officials.[3]

In 1948, the voters adopted the 20th constitutional amendment, creating Article 28, Section 1, which authorized the state legislature to establish the compensation received by all elected state officials. Several changes to the procedure, including three more constitutional amendments, followed, the most recent being the 78th amendment or House Joint Resolution 49. Approved voters in the 1986 general election, HJR 49 created the Washington Citizens' Commission on Salaries for Elected Officials, the independent salary-setting authority that took over the legislature's responsibility of setting the salaries of elected officials across the three branches of the Washington state government.[4][5]


In 2014, the secretary received a salary of $116,950, according to the Council of State Governments.[6]


In 2013, the secretary was paid an estimated $116,950. This figure comes from the Council of State Governments.[7]


In 2012, the secretary was paid an estimated $116,950 according to the Council of State Governments.


In 2010, the secretary was paid an estimated $116,950, according to the Council of State Governments.[8]

Historical officeholders

Note: Ballotpedia's state executive officials project researches state official websites for chronological lists of historical officeholders. That information for the Washington 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

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Contact Information


Capitol Address:
Washington Secretary of State
Post Office Box 40220
Olympia, WA 98504-0220

Phone: (360) 902-4151
Fax: (360) 586-5629
E-mail: sreed@secstate.wa.gov

See also

External links

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