Oregon Secretary of State

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Oregon Secretary of State
General information
Office Type:  Partisan
Office website:  Official Link
2011-2013 FY Budget:  $61,698,719
Term limits:  8 years in a 12 year period
Length of term:   4 years
Authority:  Oregon Constitution, Article VI, Section 1
Selection Method:  Elected
Current Officeholder

Kate Brown.jpg
Name:  Kate Brown
Officeholder Party:  Democratic
Assumed office:  2009
Compensation:  $72,000
Next election:  November 8, 2016
Last election:  November 6, 2012
Other Oregon Executive Offices
GovernorSecretary of StateAttorney GeneralTreasurerAuditorSuperintendent of EducationAgriculture CommissionerInsurance CommissionerNatural Resources CommissionerLabor CommissionerPublic Service Commission
The Secretary of State of Oregon is an elected constitutional officer within the executive branch of the Oregon state government and is first in line of succession to the governor. The secretary of state serves as the auditor of public accounts, chief elections officer, and administrator of public records.

Current officeholder

The current officeholder is Kate Brown. She was first elected in 2008.


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

Article VI, Section 1:

There shall be elected by the qualified electors of the State, at the times and places of choosing Members of the Legislative Assembly, a Secretary, and Treasurer of State, who shall severally hold their offices for the term of four years; but no person shall be eligible to either of said offices more than Eight in any period of Twelve years.


There are no specific qualifications for this office.


The secretary of state is elected every four years, in Presidential election years. The office were up for election in 2012, 2016, and 2020.


See also: Oregon secretary of state election, 2012

Incumbent Kate Brown (D) defeated Knute Buehler (R) and three third party challengers in the general election on November 6, 2012.

  • 2012 General Election for Oregon Secretary of State
Oregon Secretary of State General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngKate Brown Incumbent 51.4% 863,656
     Republican Knute Buehler 43.3% 727,607
     Green Seth Woolley 2.6% 44,235
     Libertarian Bruce Alexander Knight 1.4% 24,273
     Progressive Robert Wolfe 1.3% 21,783
Total Votes 1,681,554
Election Results via Oregon Secretary of State.

Term limits

In Oregon, the secretary of state is subject to term limits. As specified in Article VI, § 1 of the Oregon State Constitution, an office holder is allowed to remain in the position for eight years in a twelve year period.


Article 5, Section 16 of the state constitution outlines how vacancies in the office are to be filled. The governor fills any vacancy by appointment that expires when a successor has been elected and qualified.


Article 6, Section 2 of the state constitution requires that the secretary of state keep a fair record of the official acts of both the legislative assembly and the executive department of the state.

The official duties of the office are outlined in Chapter 177 of the Oregon Statutes:[1]

  • Keep a record of the official acts of the Oregon Department of Administrative Services and, when required, lay the same and all matters relative thereto before each branch of the legislature.
  • Affix the seal of the state to, and countersign all commissions and other official acts issued or done by the Governor, approbation by the Governor of the laws excepted, and make a register of such commissions, specifying to whom given or granted, the office conferred, with the date and tenor of the commission, in a book to be provided for that purpose.
  • Be charged with the safekeeping of all enrolled laws and resolutions and not permit them to be taken out of the office or inspected, except in the presence of the Secretary of State, unless by order of the Governor, or by resolution of one or both houses of the legislature, under penalty of $100.
  • Keep the office open during business hours at all times, Sundays excepted.


  • Archives Division maintains the official records of Oregon government, provides public access to them, and publishes the Oregon Blue Book and the Oregon Administrative Rules. Established in 1947, the division is located in the Cecil L. Edwards Archives Building in downtown Salem on the capitol mall.
  • Audits Division provides oversight of public spending. The department began in 1929 and oversees state agency compliance with accounting rules, reports on the performance of state departments, and oversees the standards for audits of local governments within Oregon, among other tasks.
  • Corporations Division administers business filings, including corporation and other business and organization formation, and those related to the Uniform Commercial Code. They are also in charge of operating the notaries public system.
  • Elections Division performs administrative and oversight duties with respect to elections in concert with the County governments, maintains a central voter registry, and publishes the Voters' Pamphlet. These duties include working with the referendum, initiative, and recall process and accepting the registration of candidates for elective office.
  • Executive Division oversees the other four divisions of the office. The Secretary of State's office is located in the Oregon State Capitol in Salem.

State budget

The budget for the Secretary of State's office in Fiscal Year 2011-2013 was $61,698,719.[2]


See also: Compensation of state executive officers

In 2012, the Oregon Secretary of State was paid an estimated $72,000 according to the Council of State Governments.

Historical officeholders

Note: Ballotpedia's state executive officials project researches state official websites for chronological lists of historical officeholders. That information for the Oregon Secretary of State has not yet been added because the information was unavailable on the relevant state official websites, or we are currently in the process of formatting the list for this office. If you have any additional information about this office for inclusion on this section and/or page, please email us.

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Contact information

Capitol Address:

Oregon Secretary of State
136 State Capitol
Salem OR 97301

Phone: (503) 986-1523
Fax: (503) 986-1616
E-mail: oregon.sos@state.or.us

See also

External links

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