Kentucky Secretary of State

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Kentucky Secretary of State
General information
Office Type:  Partisan
Office website:  Official Link
Term limits:  None
Length of term:   4 years
Authority:  Kentucky Constitution, Section 91
Selection Method:  Elected
Current Officeholder

Alison Grimes.jpg
Name:  Alison Lundergan Grimes
Officeholder Party:  Democratic
Assumed office:  January 5, 2012
Compensation:  $113,615
Next election:  November 2015
Last election:  November 8, 2011
Other Kentucky Executive Offices
GovernorLieutenant GovernorSecretary of StateAttorney GeneralTreasurerAuditorCommissioner of EducationAgriculture CommissionerInsurance CommissionerNatural Resources CommissionerLabor Cabinet SecretaryPublic Service Commission
The Secretary of State for Kentucky is one of the constitutional officers of the U.S. state of Kentucky, responsible for business registration, preservation of state records, state election management and other administrative, fiscal and personnel tasks.[1]

Current officeholder

The current officeholder is Alison Lundergan Grimes. She was first elected in the 2011 election cycle.


The office of Secretary of State is established by Section 91 of the Kentucky Constitution. The Constitution prescribes only one duty for the Secretary of State: keeping a "fair register of ... all the official acts of the Governor." The other duties of the Secretary of State, as for all Kentucky state executives, are "as may be prescribed by law," and are thus not constitutionally enshrined.[2].

Kentucky Constitution, Section 91

A Treasurer, Auditor of Public Accounts, Commissioner of Agriculture, Labor and Statistics, Secretary of State, and Attorney-General, shall be elected by the qualified voters of the State... The duties of all these officers shall be such as may be prescribed by law, and the Secretary of State shall keep a fair register of and attest all the official acts of the Governor, and shall, when required, lay the same and all papers, minutes and vouchers relative thereto before either House of the General Assembly.


Per Section 91 of the Kentucky Constitution, the Secretary of State must be at least thirty years old and have been a resident of Kentucky for two years before election.[3]

Kentucky Constitution, Section 91

A ... Secretary of State ... shall be elected by the qualified voters of the State at the same time the Governor and Lieutenant Governor are elected ... for the term of four years, [who] shall be at least thirty years of age at the time of his election, and shall have been a resident citizen of the State at least two years next before his election.


The Secretary of State, like all Kentucky executive officers, is chosen in the year preceding a presidential election (e.g. 2003, 2007, 2011).[4] The incumbent is inaugurated on the first Monday in January after his election.[5]

Term limits

A Secretary of State may only be elected to two consecutive terms and is ineligible to run for the four years following his second term. After those four years, he is free to run again.[6]


The Kentucky Constitution allows the Governor to fill vacancies in all state executive offices, including the Secretary of State. Temporary commissions to fill the office expire after the next election.[7]


The Secretary of State's duties are administrative in nature.[8] Many involve keeping state records, from the registration of businesses to officially recording the acts of the Governor. The Secretary of State is also the repository of land grants and surveys through the State Land Office.

The Secretary of State's office also represents the state in various legal matters, from lawsuits involving foreign corporations to pursuing non-resident motorists who violate traffic laws.

Additionally, the Secretary serves as the Chief Election Officer of Kentucky, and is the chairman of the Kentucky Board of Elections. He is thus responsible for administrating state elections and publicizing and analyzing the result.

Other miscellaneous duties of the Secretary of State include appointing notaries public, issuing Kentucky colonel commissions, and keeping the Seal of the Commonwealth of Kentucky.


The Secretary of State's office is composed of two divisions, the Division of Corporations and the Division of Administration.[9]

The Division of Corporations is divided into three departments:

  • The Business Filings Department is responsible for "administering the incorporation of businesses, both domestic and foreign, profit and nonprofit, including the administration of documents of merger, dissolution, name changes, and certain stock matters. This office is entrusted with filing, maintaining, and preserving certain historically significant documents and public records of the Commonwealth."[10]
  • The Business Records Department is responsible for "issuing certificates of existence, authorization, and certified copies of the original document that is on file with the Secretary of State. "[11]
  • The Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) Branch "serves as the state repository for financing statements regarding security interests. These financing statements are filed by banks, mortgage companies, and other lending institutions against secured collateral of individuals and other entities that are located within the state.[12]

The Division of Administration is responsible "for fiscal and personnel matters, public documents, legal affairs, and special projects and commissions." It also runs the State Land Office, the depository for land grants and surveys.[13]


See also: Compensation of state executive officers

In 2012, the Kentucky Secretary of State was paid an estimated $113,615. This figure comes from the Council of State Governments.

Salary for the office is determined by statute, not the state's constitution, as is automatically adjusted upwards every year to adjust for inflation. Besides inflation adjustments, the last increase in salary occurred in 1976.[14]

Contact Information

Capitol Address:

Office of the Secretary of State
The Capitol Building
700 Capital Avenue
Suite 152
Frankfort, KY 40601

Phone: (502) 564-3490
Fax: (502) 564-5687

See also


External links

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