Kansas Secretary of State
|Kansas Secretary of State|
|Office website:||Official Link|
|Length of term:||4 years|
|Authority:||Kansas Constitution, Article I § 1|
|Assumed office:||January 2011|
|Next election:||November 4, 2014|
|Last election:||November 2, 2010|
|Other Kansas Executive Offices|
|Governor • Lieutenant Governor • Secretary of State • Attorney General • Treasurer • Commissioner of Education • Agriculture Secretary • Insurance Commissioner • Wildlife and Parks Secretary • Labor Secretary • Corporation Commission|
The current officeholder is Kris Kobach. Prior to serving as Kansas Secretary of State, Kobach was a law professor at the University of Missouri-Kansas City and a former Chairman of the Kansas Republican Party (2007-2009).
The Secretary of State's powers are derived from Article 1 of the Kansas Constitution.
Article 1, Section 1:
|The constitutional officers of the executive department shall be the governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state, and attorney general, who shall have such qualifications as are provided by law.|
There are no constitutional or statutory qualifications for this office.
As with other executive officers, the Secretary of State is elected to serve for a term of four years of length, which runs concurrently with the term of the governor. The election is held in November and the statewide official takes office the following January.
Kobach (R) defeated Democrat Chris Biggs in the 2010 general election, earning 59% of the vote. Biggs was appointed to the position by Gov. Mark Parkinson in March 2010 following the resignation of 16-year office veteran Republican Ron Thornburgh.
|Kansas Secretary of State, General Election, 2010|
|Libertarian||Phillip Horatio Lucas||2.1%||17,336|
|Reform Party||Derek Langseth||1.7%||13,896|
|Election Results Via: Kansas Secretary of State|
|When the office of secretary of state or attorney general is vacant, the governor shall fill the vacancy by appointment for the remainder of the term. If the secretary of state or attorney general is disabled, the governor shall name a person to assume the powers and duties of the office until the disability is removed.|
The secretary of state is the chief elections officer of the state, administering elections and voter registration throughout the state. The office also files campaign finance reports and registers lobbyists. The duty of regulating lobbying and campaign finance is shared with the Kansas Governmental Ethics Commission.
The secretary operates the business filing center, which registers business entities, trademarks, trade names, and liens made pursuant to the uniform commercial code.
The secretary regulates a wide variety of businesses, including sports agents, trade unions, cemeteries, and funeral homes.
The secretary's publications section is responsible for publishing various legal and informational documents for the state. This includes statutory and administrative law publications such as session laws, regulations, and the state's gazette, the Kansas Register.
The secretary also operates "Safe at Home", the state's address confidentiality program and conducts census adjustments.
Dems seek to limit office's power
In December 2012, Democratic leaders said they planned to introduce two measures during the 2013 session to limit Kris Kobach's power as Secretary of State. The first bill, which Sen. Anthony Hensley (D) planned to introduce, would have restricted statewide elected officials to spend no more than 10 paid hours a week on non-official duties. This was mainly seen as a response to Kobach's work on immigration, which often took him out of the state.
The second bill would have made county commissioners in the four largest counties hire election commissioners, preventing Kobach from appointing the positions. Currently elected county clerks oversee elections in 101 of the 105 counties, with the secretary of state appointing the other four.
- See also: Compensation of state executive officers
In 2011, the Secretary of State earned a salary of $86,003. 
Kansas Secretary of State
Memorial Hall, 1st Floor
120 SW 10th Avenue
Topeka, KS 66612-1594
Phone: (785) 296-4564
- Chris Biggs, former Kansas Secretary of State
- Governor of Kansas
- Lieutenant Governor of Kansas
- Attorney General of Kansas
- Kansas Constitution
- Main website for the Kansas Secretary of State
- Elections website
- Kansas Governmental Ethics Commission
- Wikipedia, Kansas Secretary of State
Portions of this article were adapted from Wikipedia.
- Project Vote Smart - Kris Kobach biography
- Kansas Secretary of State, "Kansas Election Standards (Chapter IV: Candidates, p. IV-11)," retrieved January 27, 2012
- Kansas Secretary of State - 2010 General Election Results
- The Republic, "Kansas legislative Democrats to introduce measures targeting GOP Sec. of State Kobach," December 4, 2012
- The Council of State Governments, "Book of States 2011- Table 4.11", accessed February 2, 2012