North Carolina Secretary of State

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North Carolina

North Carolina State Executives
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The Secretary of State for North Carolina is a publicly elected official for the state of North Carolina, heading the Department of the State, which oversees many of the economic and business-related operations of the state government. Unlike in many states, the secretary of state does not oversee state elections.

Current officeholder

The current officeholder is Elaine Marshall.


The state Constitution establishes the office of secretary of state in Article III, Section 7:

(1) Officers. A Secretary of State, an Auditor, a Treasurer, a Superintendent of Public Instruction, an Attorney General, a Commissioner of Agriculture, a Commissioner of Labor, and a Commissioner of Insurance shall be elected by the qualified voters of the State in 1972 and every four years thereafter, at the same time and places as members of the General Assembly are elected. Their term of office shall be four years and shall commence on the first day of January next after their election and continue until their successors are elected and qualified. ...


Article VI, Section 6 of the North Carolina Constitution establishes the qualifications of the office:

Every qualified voter in North Carolina who is 21 years of age, except as in this Constitution disqualified, shall be eligible for election by the people to office.
  • qualified North Carolina voter
  • 21 years of age


The secretary of state in North Carolina is popularly elected every four years, in presidential election years. The secretary of state, barring any vacancies, will be elected in 2012, 2016, and 2020. The term of office is four years, and begins on the first day of January next after their election.


See also: North Carolina secretary of state election, 2012

Incumbent Elaine Marshall (D) successfully won re-election, defeating Ed Goodwin (R) in the November 6, 2012 general election.

North Carolina Secretary of State General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngElaine Marshall Incumbent 53.8% 2,331,173
     Republican Ed Goodwin 46.2% 2,003,026
Total Votes 4,334,199
Election Results via NC State Board of Elections.

Term limits

There are no limitations on the number of terms an individual may hold the office of secretary of state.


Article III, Section 7 addresses vacancies in the office of secretary of state. In the event of a vacancy, the governor appoints a successor who will serve until a new officeholder is elected. The election coincides with the first election for members of the General Assembly that occurs more than 60 days after the seat becomes vacant.


The duties of the secretary of state are outlines in the North Carolina general statutes:

  1. To perform such duties as may then be devolved upon the Secretary by resolution of the two houses of the General Assembly or either of them;
  2. To attend the Governor, whenever required by the Governor, for the purpose of receiving documents which have passed the great seal;
  3. To receive and keep all conveyances and mortgages belonging to the State;
  4. To distribute annually the statutes and the legislative journals;
  5. To distribute the acts of Congress received at the Secretary's office in the manner prescribed for the statutes of the State;
  6. To keep a receipt book, in which the Secretary shall take from every person to whom a grant shall be delivered, a receipt for the same; but may inclose grants by mail in a registered letter at the expense of the grantee, unless otherwise directed, first entering the same upon the receipt book;
  7. To issue charters and all necessary certificates for the incorporation, domestication, suspension, reinstatement, cancellation and dissolution of corporations as may be required by the corporation laws of the State and maintain a record thereof;
  8. To issue certificates of registration of trademarks, labels and designs as may be required by law and maintain a record thereof;
  9. To maintain a Division of Publications to compile data on the State's several governmental agencies and for legislative reference;
  10. To receive, enroll and safely preserve the Constitution of the State and all amendments thereto;
  11. To serve as a member of such boards and commissions as the Constitution and laws of the State may designate;
  12. To administer the Securities Law of the State, regulating the issuance and sale of securities, as is now or may be directed;
  13. To receive and keep all oaths of public officials required by law to be filed in the Secretary's office, and as Secretary of State, is fully empowered to administer official oaths to any public official of whom an oath is required;
  14. To receive and maintain a journal of all appointments made to any State board, agency, commission, council or authority which is filed in the office of the Secretary of State;
  15. To regulate the solicitation of contributions pursuant to Chapter 131F of the General Statutes; and
  16. To apply for and accept grants from the federal government and its agencies and from any foundation, corporation, association, or individual in order to effectuate the purposes of the Nonprofit Corporation Act, Chapter 55A of the General Statutes, and to further aid in the operation and development of nonprofit corporations. The Secretary shall comply with the terms, conditions, and limitations of grants applied for and accepted and shall expend grant funds pursuant to Chapter 143C of the General Statutes, The State Budget Act.[1]


  • Certification and Filing
  • eNotary & Notary Enforcement Section
  • Charitable Solicitation Licensing Division
  • Corporations
  • Information Technology
  • Publications
  • Securities


See also: Compensation of state executive officers


In 2012, the secretary of state was paid an estimated $123,198. This figure comes from the Council of State Governments.


In 2010, the North Carolina Secretary of State was paid an estimated $123,198 according to the Council of State Governments.[2]

Contact Information

North Carolina Secretary of State:
North Carolina

Mailing address:
P.O. Box 29622
Raleigh NC 27626-0622

Physical address:
2 South Salisbury Street
Raleigh, NC 27601-2903

Phone: (919) 807-2005
Fax: (919) 807-2039

See also

External links

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