Idaho Secretary of State

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The Idaho Secretary of State is a state executive officer in the Idaho government. The secretary is responsible for running the state's elections, licensing businesses, trademarks, notaries and other professions, and various other duties involving the maintenance and publication of official documents. The office of secretary of state is established in the state constitution, and like other Idaho constitutional officers, is elected by the people to four year terms during federal midterm election years (2006, 2010, 2014, etc.).

Current officeholder

The current secretary of state is Ben Ysursa, a Republican, who was first elected on November 5, 2002, and re-elected in 2006 and 2010. Ysursa's third term began on January 3, 2011, and he will next come up for re-election in 2014.

Before becoming secretary of state, Ysursa was Idaho's chief deputy secretary of state from 1976 to 2002. He was a deputy secretary of state from 1974 to 1976. Ysursa holds a bachelor's degree from Gonzaga University and a J.D. from St. Louis University Law School. He and his wife, Penny, have three children.[1]


Per Article IV, Section 3 of the Idaho Constitution, a candidate for secretary of state is required to be:

  • at least 25 old
  • a United States citizen
  • a resident of Idaho at least two years prior to the election

Idaho Constitution, Article IV, Section 3

No person shall be eligible ... to the office of secretary of state, state controller, or state treasurer, unless he shall have attained the age of twenty-five years; ... In addition to the qualifications above described each of the officers named shall be a citizen of the United States and shall have resided within the state or territory two years next preceding his election.


Idaho elects secretaries of state to four year terms in federal midterm election years, that is, even years that are not presidential election years. Thus, 2006, 2010, 2014, and 2018 are all election years. Winners take office on the first Monday in the January following an election. Thus, January 3, 2011 and January 5, 2015 are inaugural days.

If two candidates ever tie in the general election, a joint session of the legislature chooses the winner by a majority vote.

Term limits

See also: States with gubernatorial term limits

There are no term limits for this office. Out of all of Idaho's state executives, only the Idaho Controller faces term limits.


Per Article IV, Section 6 of the Idaho Constitution, the governor appoints a replacement to any state office where a vacancy occurs, subject to the approval of the Idaho Senate. The appointee serves until the next general election.


The secretary of state's responsibilities include:

  • Registering business entities
  • Administering the state's application of the Uniform Commercial Code
  • Running Idaho's elections
  • Licensing notaries public
  • Registering trademarks
  • Operating the state's health care and will registries
  • Publishing various state documents, including state law


  • Elections
  • Legislative Affairs
  • Business Entities
  • Liens - UCC
  • Notar, Apostilles and Authentications
  • Trademarks
  • Fiscal[2]


In 2010, the secretary of state received a salary of $103,984. The secretary's salary is determined by law.

Electoral history


2002 Race for Secretary of State - Republican Primary [3]
Party Candidate Vote Percentage
     Republican Party Approveda Ben Ysursa 66.3%
     Republican Party Evan S. Frasure 33.7%
Total Votes 135,954
2002 Race for Secretary of State - General Election [4]
Party Candidate Vote Percentage
     Republican Party Approveda Ben Ysursa 77.5%
     Libertarian Party Ronald E. Perry 22.5%
Total Votes 383,626


  • 2006 Race for Secretary of State - Republican Primary and General Election


Republican Primary

  • 2010 Race for Secretary of State - Republican Primary

Democratic Primary

  • 2010 Race for Secretary of State - Democratic Primary

General Election

2010 Race for Secretary of State - General Election [5]
Party Candidate Vote Percentage
     Republican Party Approveda Ben Ysursa 74.3%
     Democratic Party Mack Sermon 25.7%
Total Votes 439,617

Contact Information


Mailing Address:
Office of the Secretary of State
Post Office Box 83720
Boise ID 83720-0080

Phone: (208) 334-2300
Fax: (208) 334-2282

See also

External links