Florida Secretary of State
|Florida Secretary of State|
|Office website:||Official Link|
|Length of term:||Serves at the pleasure of the governor|
|Authority:||Florida Statutes, 20.10|
|Selection Method:||Appointed by the governor|
|Assumed office:||January 18, 2012|
|Other Florida Executive Offices|
|Governor•Lieutenant Governor•Secretary of State•Attorney General•Chief Financial Officer•Commissioner of Education•Agriculture Commissioner•Insurance Commissioner•Environmental Protection Secretary•Economic Opportunity Director•Public Service Commission|
The current secretary of state is Republican Ken Detzner. He was appointed in Feburary 2012 by Gov. Rick Scott to replace Kurt Browning. As the secretary serves at the pleasure of the governor, Detzner is not subject to periodic reappointment.
Browning, who was originally appointed in April 2006 by then Governor Charlie Crist, submitted his letter of resignation on January 11, 2012. He agreed to remain in office until February 17, 2012 in order to oversee the Florida presidential preference primary election on January 31. He cited the strain of commuting between the state Capitol in Tallahassee and Dade City, where he lives with his wife, Kathy, as his reason for leaving office and indicated his plans to return to his native Pasco County to run for superintendent of schools.
The office of secretary of state is established by state law.
Florida Statutes, 20.10
There is created a Department of State. (1) The head of the Department of State is the Secretary of State.
There are no particular qualifications required of secretaries of state.
The secretary of state is appointed by the governor subject to the confirmation of the state Senate. He serves at the governor's pleasure. The secretary of state was formerly an elected officer, but was made appointive by a constitutional amendment in 1998.
Florida Statutes, 20.10
The head of the Department of State is the Secretary of State. The Secretary of State shall be appointed by the Governor, subject to confirmation by the Senate, and shall serve at the pleasure of the Governor.
There are no term limits associated with the office of secretary of state.
The Governor of Florida fills a vacancy in any "state, district, or county office" by appointing a replacement to serve out the remainder of the term. The Florida Senate, as with standard appointments, must confirm the vacancy appointment. If the Senate refuses to confirm, the replacement officeholder must vacate his office within 30 days.
Like the corresponding officials in other states, the original charge of the Secretary of State — to be the "Keeper of the Great Seal" — has expanded greatly since the office was first created. According to the state website, "Today, the Secretary of State is Florida’s Chief of Elections, Chief Cultural Officer, the State Protocol Officer, and the head of the Department of State." The secretary's role as a cultural officer is somewhat unique among the states; the Florida Division of Cultural Affairs, which the secretary oversees, sponsors a number of grants, awards, exhibitions and other artistic or cultural projects to showcase Florida culture. The secretary of state's office also manages the state's library and information services system, another somewhat unusual role
- Administrative Services
- Cultural Affairs
- Historical Resources
- Library and Archives
- General Counsel
- Inspector General
- Legislative Affairs
- Ombudsman's Office
Role in the ballot initiative process
Filing the Petition
Before proponents can begin to circulate a petition, they must first register with the Division of Elections as a Political Committee. The sponsoring political committee is then required to submit the proposed initiative amendment to the Division of Elections for format approval. This will only focus on the correct format of the initiative, not the legality of it.
Verification of Signatures
The sponsoring political committee shall then submit the signed petition forms to the Supervisor of Elections in the county in which the forms were circulated for verification of signatures. It is the responsibility of the sponsoring political committee to ensure the signed forms are properly filed with, or if misfiled, forwarded to the Supervisor of Elections in the county in which the signee is a registered voter.
Cost of verifying signatures
The sponsoring political committee will be charged 10 cents for every signature checked by the Supervisor of Elections. If the committee is unable to pay the charges without imposing an undue burden on the organization, a written certification of such inability given under oath may be submitted to the Division of Elections to have signatures verified at no charge. Then each division of elections will circulation the signature results to each Supervisor of Elections in the state. In order for signatures to be verified prior to the deadline, sponsoring political committee can submit petitions to the Supervisors of Elections as far in advance of the deadline as possible.
Certification of Petitions
The Supervisors of Elections shall submit to the Division of Elections a certificate indicating the total number of signatures checked, verified, and the distribution by congressional district. Each Supervisor of Elections shall submit a copy of one petition showing the text of the constitutional amendment with each certificate of verification. All certifications must be received by the Division of Elections no later than 5:00 p.m. on February 1 of the year in which the election is held.
Certification of Ballot Position
If signatures meet the verification process, the Secretary of State shall issue a certificate of ballot position to the sponsoring political committee.
- See also: Compensation of state executive officers
Contact infoCapitol Address:
Florida Department of State
R. A. Gray Building
500 South Bronough Street
Tallahassee, FL 32399-0250
Phone: (850) 245-6527
Fax: (850) 245-6125
- Ken Detzner
- Former secretary of state Kurt Browning
- Secretary of State
- Governor of Florida
- Current Gov. of Florida Rick Scott
- Former Gov. of Florida Charlie Crist
- The Miami Herald "New Florida state secretary takes over at critical time," March 17, 2012
- Florida Statutes, "20.10," accessed August 24, 2011.
- Florida Statutes, "114.04," accessed August 24, 2011.
- Florida Statutes, "114.05," accessed August 24, 2011.
- Florida Department of State, "About the Department," accessed August 24, 2011.
- Florida Department of State, "Contact Us," accessed August 24, 2011.