Colorado Secretary of State

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Colorado Secretary of State
General information
Office Type:  Partisan
Office website:  Official Link
2012-2013 FY Budget:  $19,893,142
Term limits:  2 consecutive terms
Structure
Length of term:   4 years
Authority:  Colorado Constitution, Article IV, Section 1
Selection Method:  Elected
Current Officeholder

Scott Gessler.jpg
Name:  Scott Gessler
Officeholder Party:  Republican
Assumed office:  January 11, 2011
Compensation:  $68,500
Elections
Next election:  November 4, 2014
Last election:  November 2, 2010
Other Colorado Executive Offices
GovernorLieutenant GovernorSecretary of StateAttorney GeneralTreasurerControllerCommissioner of EducationAgriculture CommissionerInsurance CommissionerNatural Resources Exec. DirectorLabor Executive DirectorPublic Utilities Commission
The Colorado Secretary of State is an elected constitutional officer in Colorado's state government. Elected every four years, the Secretary of State oversees the registration of Colorado businesses, notaries, charities, trade names and a variety of other factors, manages the state's elections, and administers campaign finance laws.

Current officeholder

The current secretary is Scott Gessler, a Republican. Gessler was first elected in November 2010 and took office on January 11, 2011. He will come up for re-election in November 2014, if he chooses to run.

Before becoming secretary of state, Gessler was a partner at the Denver-based Hackstaff Law Group, where he specialized in election law. He previously managed his family's construction company and began his career as a federal prosecutor in Washington, D.C. Gessler served in the U.S. Army Reserve for 16 years; he served a tour in Bosnia as part of the United Nations mission there. Gessler earned a B.A. in History and Political Science from Yale University, an M.B.A. from Northwestern University and a J.D. from the University of Michigan. He and his wife, Kristi, have one daughter and reside in Denver.

Authority

The state constitution establishes the office of secretary of state in Article IV, the Executive Department.

Colorado Constitution, Article IV, Section 1

(1) The executive department shall include the governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state, state treasurer, and attorney general, each of whom shall hold his office for the term of four years, commencing on the second Tuesday of January in the year 1967, and each fourth year thereafter. They shall perform such duties as are prescribed by this constitution or by law.

Qualifications

The secretary of state must be at least 25 years old. Additionally, he must be a U.S. citizen and have been a resident of Colorado for at least two years prior to election.

Colorado Constitution, Article IV, Section 4

No person shall be eligible to the office of... attorney general unless he shall have attained the age of twenty­five years and be a licensed attorney of the supreme court of the state in good standing, and no person shall be eligible to any one of said offices unless, in addition to the qualifications above prescribed therefore, he shall be a citizen of the United States, and have resided within the limits of the state two years next preceding his election.

Elections

Secretaries of state are elected to four year terms during federal midterm election years (2006, 2010, 2014, etc.). The candidate that earns a plurality of the votes is the winner, and, per Article IV, Section 1 of the state constitution, he assumes office on the second Tuesday of January in the year following his election.

Colorado Constitution, Article IV, Section 1

(1) The executive department shall include the governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state, state treasurer, and attorney general, each of whom shall hold his office for the term of four years, commencing on the second Tuesday of January in the year 1967, and each fourth year thereafter.

Term limits

Per the Colorado Term Limits Act (1990), secretaries of state, like all statewide constitutional officers, are limited to two consecutive terms in office. Former officeholders may run again after one term out of office. Serving more than one half of a term as an appointed replacement as attorney general counts as a full term.

Vacancies

If the office of secretary of state becomes vacant, the governor appoints a replacement with the consent of the Senate. The replacement serves until the next election. If the vacancy occurs while the Senate is out of session, the appointee serves until it can meet.

Colorado Constitution, Article IV, Section 6

(2) If the office of state treasurer, secretary of state, or attorney general shall be vacated by death, resignation, or otherwise, the governor shall nominate and, by and with the consent of the senate, appoint a successor. The appointee shall hold the office until his successor shall be elected and qualified in such manner as may be provided by law. If the vacancy occurs in any such office while the senate is not in session, the governor shall appoint some fit person to discharge the duties thereof until the next meeting of the senate, when he shall nominate and, by and with the consent of the senate, appoint some fit person to fill such office.

Duties

The secretary handles a variety of matters related to registration, filing, and administration. Some prominent duties include:

  • Registering businesses, trade names and handling other business-related filings
  • Administering the Uniform Commercial Code in Colorado
  • Registering charitable organizations and professional fundraisers, as well as political lobbyists
  • Licensing notaries public
  • Certifying bingo, raffle and other gaming managers
  • Running the state's elections, registering voters, managing campaign finance laws and filings, certifying citizen ballot initiatives and other elections-related tasks[1]

Divisions

  • Business & Licensing
  • Elections & Voting
  • Administration

State budget

The budget for the Secretary of State's Office in the 2012-2013 Fiscal Year was $19,893,142.[2]

Compensation

In 2010, the secretary received a salary of $68,500. The secretary's compensation is determined by law.

Recent news

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Contact information

Capitol Address:
Secretary of State
1700 Broadway, Ste. 270
Denver, CO 80290

Colorado

Phone: (303) 894-2200
Toll Free Phone: (303) 869-4867
Fax: (303) 869-4860
E-mail: administration@sos.co.us

See also

External links

References