Oklahoma Secretary of State

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Oklahoma Secretary of State
General information
Office Type:  Partisan
Office website:  Official Link
2012 FY Budget:  $3,389,000
Term limits:  None
Length of term:   4 years
Authority:  Article VI, Section 6
Selection Method:  Appointed by Governor
Current Officeholder

Chris Benge.jpg
Name:  Chris Benge
Officeholder Party:  Republican
Assumed office:  November 8, 2013
Compensation:  $140,000
Other Oklahoma Executive Offices
GovernorLieutenant GovernorSecretary of StateAttorney GeneralTreasurerAuditorSuperintendent of EducationAgriculture CommissionerInsurance CommissionerNatural Resources CommissionerLabor CommissionerPublic Service Commission
The Oklahoma Secretary of State is an appointed position in the Oklahoma state government. The secretary of state is the chief clerical officer for the state of Oklahoma.

Current officeholder

The current officeholder is Republican Chris Benge. He took over the position on November 8, 2013 to replace Larry Parman, who Gov. Mary Fallin (R) named as the new director of the state Department of Commerce and as her secretary of commerce.[1]


The office of the Oklahoma Secretary of State is established in Article VI, Section 1 of the Oklahoma Constitution.

Article VI, Section 1:

A. The Executive authority of the state shall be vested in a Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Secretary of State, State Auditor and Inspector, Attorney General, State Treasurer, Superintendent of Public Instruction, Commissioner of Labor, Commissioner of Insurance and other officers provided by law and this Constitution, each of whom shall keep his office and public records, books and papers at the seat of government, and shall perform such duties as may be designated in this Constitution or prescribed by law.

B. The Secretary of State shall be appointed by the Governor by and with the consent of the Senate for a term of four (4) years to run concurrently with the term of the Governor.


Article VI, Section 3 of the Oklahoma Constitution establishes the qualifications of the office:

No person shall be eligible to the office of Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Secretary of State, State Auditor and Inspector, Attorney General, State Treasurer or Superintendent of Public Instruction except a citizen of the United States of the age of not less than thirty-one (31) years and who shall have been ten (10) years next preceding his or her election, or appointment, a qualified elector of this state..
  • a citizen of the United States.
  • at least 31 years old.
  • a qualified elector of Oklahoma for the 10 preceding years.


Oklahoma state government organizational chart

In Oklahoma, the secretary of state is a position that is filled via appointment by the governor with the consent of the state Senate. According to Article 6, Section 1 of the Oklahoma Constitution, the secretary serves a term of four years in length concurrent with that of the governor.


Under Article 6, Section 13 of the state Constitution, in the event of a vacancy in the office the governor appoints a person to serve until a successor is either elected or appointed and qualified by law.


The secretary of state has a number of duties and responsibilities in several distinct areas:[2]

  • Executive functions: The secretary attests to the governor's signature, files all official gubernatorial acts, and certifies all executive orders, appointments, and proclamations.
  • Court on Judiciary: The secretary designates five district judges to serve on the Appellate Division of the Court on Judiciary and eight district judges to serve on the Trial Division of the Court on Judiciary.
  • Legislative Functions: The secretary maintains a record of all acts of the Oklahoma State Legislature.
  • Initiative and Referendum Petitions: Statewide initiative and referendum petitions are filed in the office of secretary of state.
  • Office of Administrative Rules: The office of secretary of state files state agency rules, rule making notices, and executive orders.
  • Corporate Filing/Records Functions: The secretary's office maintains a database of business entities and any associated amendments, trade names, mergers, withdrawals and dissolutions.
  • Notaries Public: The secretary appoints and commissions notaries public.
  • Certification: The secretary copies and/or certifies documents filed by the corporate filing office, authenticates county court clerk signatures on documents, and certifies the signatures of public officials.
  • Central Filing System: The secretary's office files and publishes information that allows buyers, commission merchants, and selling agents to identify farm products that are subject to a security interest.
  • Trademarks: The secretary of state files applications of trademarks and issues certificates of registration, and also issues trademark renewals, assignments, and cancellations.
  • Oaths and Loyalty Oaths: The secretary of state files an oath of office and a loyalty oath for every officer of a state agency, board, commission, court, institution, and member of the state legislature.
  • Public Meeting Notices: All state agencies, boards, commissions and public trusts must file notices of their meetings with the secretary's office.
  • Athlete Agent Registration: The office files registration paperwork for all athlete agents.
  • Summons: The secretary acts as a registered agent for all business entities, unless an additional agent has been appointed, and for any domestic corporation whose agent has resigned.
  • Transmitting Utility and Railroad Mortgages: The office files every mortgage, deed of trust, and supplementary instruments of all utility corporations and companies.
  • Invention Developer Bonds: The office maintains copies of inventor's surety bonds after they have been approved by the attorney general.
  • Surface Damage Bonds: Every mineral owner or lessee who drills or prepares to drill for oil or gas is required to file a corporate surety bond, letter of credit from a bank, cash, or a CD. The secretary of state files and records each of these bonds.
  • Other Duties: Additional duties include filing and/or certifying policy statements of each public institution of higher education, personality rights as successor-in-interest, public trust indentures and amendments thereto, preliminary and final official statements, facsimile signatures, bonds of public officials and employees.


  • Accounting Division
  • Administration Division
  • Business Services Division
  • Central Filing Division
  • Executive and Legislative Services Division
  • Information Services Division
  • Notary Division
  • Office of Administrative Rules

State budget

See also: Oklahoma state budget and finances

The budget for the Secretary of State's office in Fiscal Year 2012 was $3,389,000.[3]


See also: Compensation of state executive officers

DocumentIcon.jpg See statutes: Title 74, Chapter 10 of the Oklahoma Statutes

Title 74, Chapter 10 (§74‑10.5) of the Oklahoma Statutes sets the maximum base salary for the secretary of state. The section provides for the secretary of state's salary to be increased—to an amount not exceeding the highest paid secretary in the governor's cabinet—in the event the secretary of state is designated as a cabinet secretary in addition to his existing role.[4][5] The amount of compensation is prescribed by law, pursuant to Article VI, Section 34 of the Oklahoma Constitution:

Each of the officers in this article named shall, at stated times, during his continuance in office, receive for his services a compensation, which shall not be increased or diminished during the term for which he shall have been elected; nor shall he receive to his use, any fees, cost, or perquisites of office or other compensation.


In 2014, the secretary of state received a salary of $140,000, according to the Council of State Governments.[6]


In 2013, the secretary of state received a salary of $90,000, according to the Council of State Governments.[7]


In 2010, the secretary of state received a salary of $94,500, according to the Council of State Governments.[8]

Historical officeholders

Recent news

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Contact Information


Capitol Address:
2300 North Lincoln Boulevard
Suite 101
Oklahoma City, OK 73105

Phone: (405) 521-3911
Fax: (405) 521-3771
E-mail: Susan.savage@sos.state.ok.us

See also

External links

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