Difference between revisions of "Alabama Secretary of State"

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*Henry Hitchcock (1818-1819)

Revision as of 07:27, 17 March 2014

Alabama Secretary of State
General information
Office Type:  Partisan
Office website:  Official Link
2013 FY Budget:  $7,360,797
Term limits:  2 terms
Structure
Length of term:   4 years
Authority:  Constitution of Alabama, Article V, Section 112
Selection Method:  Elected
Current Officeholder

Jim Bennett.jpg
Name:  Jim Bennett
Officeholder Party:  Republican
Assumed office:  July 31, 2013
Compensation:  $85,248
Elections
Next election:  November 4, 2014
Last election:  November 2, 2010
Other Alabama Executive Offices
GovernorLieutenant GovernorSecretary of StateAttorney GeneralTreasurerAuditorSuperintendent of EducationAgriculture CommissionerInsurance CommissionerNatural Resources CommissionerLabor CommissionerPublic Service Commission
The Alabama Secretary of State is Alabama's chief election official and certifies vote totals, ballots and fundraising records. He or she is also responsible for business registration and keeping the state government's official documents and public records.

Current officeholder

The current officeholder is Jim Bennett, a Republican appointed to the position by Governor Robert Bentley effective July 31, 2013. He was appointed to fill the seat left vacant by the resignation of twice-elected officeholder Beth Chapman. Chapman decided to step down early in order to take a job in the private sector. Bennett will serve as Chapman's replacement until a successor is formally elected by voters on November 4, 2014. The appointment is effective through to January 19, 2015, when Chapman's term was set to expire. Bennett will not run for a full term in the office when it comes up for election in 2014.[1]

Bennett previously served two terms in the office of secretary of state, from 1993-2003.

Authority

The secretary of state's authority derives from Article V, Section 112 of the Alabama Constitution.

Constitution of Alabama, Article V, Section 112

The executive department shall consist of a governor, lieutenant governor, attorney-general, state auditor, secretary of state, state treasurer, superintendent of education, commissioner of agriculture and industries, and a sheriff for each county.

Qualifications

Qualifications for the office of secretary of state are described in Article V, Section 132 of the state constitution. Candidates for the office must have been a citizen of the United States for seven years, a resident of Alabama for five years, and at least 25 years of age.

Constitution of Alabama, Article V, Section 132

No person shall be eligible to the office of attorney-general, state auditor, secretary of state, state treasurer, superintendent of education, or commissioner of agriculture and industries unless he shall have been a citizen of the United States at least seven years, and shall have resided in this state at least five years next preceding his election, and shall be at least twenty-five years old when elected.

Elections

Click here to view a large-scale image of the Alabama state government organizational chart, as of 9/11/12.

Per Section 114 of the state constitution, Alabama elects its secretaries of state during federal midterm election years (e.g. 2006, 2010, 2014, and 2018). Section 116 sets the secretary of state's inauguration for the first Monday after the second Tuesday in the January following an election. Thus, January 17, 2011 and January 19, 2015 are inaugural days.

Constitution of Alabama, Article V, Section 114

The governor, lieutenant governor, attorney-general, state auditor, secretary of state, state treasurer, superintendent of education, and commissioner of agriculture and industries shall be elected by the qualified electors of the state at the same time and places appointed for the election of members of the legislature in the year nineteen hundred and two, and in every fourth year thereafter.

Constitution of Alabama, Article V, Section 116

The governor, lieutenant governor, attorney-general, state auditor, secretary of state, state treasurer, superintendent of education, commissioner of agriculture and industries, elected after the ratification of this Constitution, shall hold their respective offices for the term of four years from the first Monday after the second Tuesday in January next succeeding their election, and until their successors shall be elected and qualified.

Term limits

Per Amendment 282 to Article V, Section 116 of the Alabama Constitution, secretaries of state are limited to two terms in office.[2]

Full History


Vacancies

Article V, Section 136 of the Alabama Constitution requires the governor to appoint a replacement if the office of secretary of state becomes vacant or if the incumbent "shall become of unsound mind." The replacement serves until the next scheduled election.

Constitution of Alabama, Article V, Section 136

Should the office of attorney-general, state auditor, secretary of state, state treasurer, superintendent of education, or commissioner of agriculture and industries become vacant from any cause, the governor shall fill such vacancy until the disability is removed or a successor elected and qualified. In case any of said officers shall become of unsound mind, such unsoundness shall be ascertained by the supreme court upon the suggestion of the governor.

Duties

The Alabama Constitution directs the secretary of state to keep the great seal of the state, "authenticate therewith all official acts of the governor, resolutions, appointments to office and administrative orders." Besides officially recording the governor's acts, state law gives the secretary of state "more than 1,000 different duties... virtually all of them [involving] processing and filing documents that are public records."[3] These records include business registrations, legislative acts, land records, campaign finance records, trademarks and others. The secretary also certifies notaries public and civil law notaries.

Additionally, the secretary of state is the state's chief election officer and responsible for running and recording the results of all state elections.

Divisions

The secretary of state's office includes three main sections: Elections, Business Services and Administrative Services.[4]

Elections

The Elections division supervises state elections, registers candidates and voters, publishes results and performs related tasks.



Business Services

The Business Services section includes three individual divisions: Uniform Commercial Code (UCC), Business Entities, and Trademarks. Those three divisions are responsible for registering Alabama businesses and foreign corporations operating in Alabama.



Administrative Services

The Administrative Services division supervises the authentication of official documents, athlete agents, notaries public and civil law notaries.



State budget

The budget for the Secretary of State's Office in Fiscal Year 2012-2013 was $7,360,797.[5]

Compensation

See also: Compensation of state executive officers

In 2013, the Alabama Secretary of State was paid an estimated $85,248. This figure comes from the Council of State Governments.

Alabama Constitution, Article V, Section 118 of the state constitution requires that changes in compensation take effect in the term after they were passed.

Alabama Constitution, Article V, Section 118

The governor, lieutenant governor, attorney-general, state auditor, secretary of state, state treasurer, superintendent of education, and commissioner of agriculture and industries, shall receive compensation to be fixed by law, which shall not be increased or diminished during the term for which they shall have been elected, and shall, except the lieutenant governor, reside at the state capital during the time they continue in office, except during epidemics.

Historical officeholders



Recent news

This section displays the most recent stories in a google news search for the term Alabama + "Secretary of State" + Chapman

All stories may not be relevant to this page due to the nature of the search engine.

"Secretary+of+State"+Chapman&um=1&ie=UTF-8&output=rss Alabama Secretary of State News Feed

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Contact Information

Mailing address:
Alabama

PO Box 5616
Montgomery, AL 36103-5616

Phone: (334) 242-7200
Fax: (334) 242-4993

See also

External links

References