Rhode Island Secretary of State

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Rhode Island Secretary of State
General information
Office Type:  Partisan
Office website:  Official Link
2013 FY Budget:  $7,615,856
Term limits:  2 terms
Length of term:   4 years
Authority:  Rhode Island general laws, Section 42-8-1
Selection Method:  Elected
Current Officeholder

A Ralph Mollis.jpg
Name:  Ralph Mollis
Officeholder Party:  Democratic
Assumed office:  January 1, 2007
Compensation:  $108,808
Next election:  November 4, 2014
Last election:  November 2, 2010
Other Rhode Island Executive Offices
GovernorLieutenant GovernorSecretary of StateAttorney GeneralTreasurerSuperintendent of EducationAgriculture CommissionerInsurance CommissionerNatural Resources CommissionerLabor CommissionerPublic Service Commission
The Secretary of State for Rhode Island is an elected official for the state of Rhode Island. The secretary of state is the keeper of the Seal of the State of Rhode Island, and the office is the repository for official state documents.

Current officeholder

The current officeholder is Ralph Mollis. He was first elected in 2006, and re-elected in 2010. He is barred by term limits from running for a third consecutive term.[1]


The department of state, with the secretary of state as its head, is established in the Rhode Island Constitution and Section 42-8-1 of the Rhode Island general laws.

§ 42-8-1:

There shall be a department of state. The head of the department of state shall be the secretary of state. The secretary of state shall perform the duties required by this chapter and by chapter 2 of title 6; chapters 1 to 4, inclusive, of title 7; chapters 16, 19, and 20 of title 17; chapters 3 and 10 of title 22; chapters 1 to 3 and 4, of title 29; chapter 1 of title 36; chapter 7 of title 37; chapter 30 of this title; chapters 1 and 2 of title 43; chapter 6 of title 44; and any and all other provisions of the general laws and public laws insofar as such powers and duties relate to the secretary of state and the department of state.


According to the Rhode Island Secretary of State, "if you are a registered voter who is 18 years of age or older, you may run for any political office in Rhode Island other than senator in Congress."[2]

  • at least 18 years old
  • a registered voter


Article IV, Section 4 of the state constitution addresses vacancies. In the event of a vacancy in the office of secretary of state, attorney general, or treasurer, the Rhode Island General Assembly elects a successor to fill the remainder of the unexpired term. If the vacancy occurs when the general assembly is not in session, the governor appoints a person to fill the vacancy to serve until a successor is elected by the general assembly.


Article IV, Section 1 of the state constitution specifies that the offices of state constitution, no person may hold the office of governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state, attorney general, and treasurer are to be elected every 4 years during the November general election and shall hold their offices beginning the first Tuesday of January next succeeding their election, until their successors are elected and qualified. The offices are elected in mid-term election years (2010, 2014, 2018, et cetera).

Term limits

According to Article IV, Section 1 of the state constitution, no person may hold the office of governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state, attorney general, or treasurer for more than 2 consecutive four-year terms.

Full History


Note: Ballotpedia's state executive officials project researches the constitutional or statutory text that outlines the key responsibilities of a state executive office. That information for the Rhode Island Secretary of State has not yet been added. After extensive research we were unable to identify any relevant information on state official websites. If you have any additional information about this office for inclusion on this section and/or page, please email us.


The office of the secretary of state is composed of five separate divisions:

  • The Elections and Civics Division prepares ballots, ensures accessibility of voting facilities, qualifies and certifies the names of all federal and state candidates for ballot placement, maintains a database of registered voters, and ensures compliance with the Help America Vote Act. Administration of elections and compliance with campaign finance laws is the responsibility of a separate state agency, the Rhode Island Board of Elections.
  • The Corporations Division is responsible for a wide range of business-related legal documents and filings, including formation of corporations and other business entities, liens and security interests under the Uniform Commercial Code, registration of notaries public, apostilles, trademarks and service marks, registration of businesses conducting games of chance, and various other documents required by state law.
  • The Public Information Division accepts many filings required to be made with secretary of state, including Lobbying Disclosures, Public Meeting Notices and Minutes, Disclosure of State Government Consultants and Appointments to Boards and Commissions, and other government information. This division also publishes the Rhode Island Government Owner's Manual, which gives a broad overview of various government offices and officials.
  • The Rhode Island State Archives is the official custodian and trustee for public records of permanent historical value.
  • The Rhode Island State Library was created in 1852 by a General Assembly resolution as part of the office of the secretary of state. Its purpose is to assist members of the Rhode Island General Assembly with research on the preparation of proposed legislation. The State Library also includes a law library.

State budget

The budget for the Secretary of State's office in Fiscal Year 2013 was $7,615,856.[3]


See also: Compensation of state executive officers

In 2012, the Rhode Island Secretary of State was paid an estimated $108,808. This figure comes from the Council of State Governments.

Historical officeholders

Recent news

This section displays the most recent stories in a google news search for the term "Rhode Island" + Secretary + of + State

All stories may not be relevant to this page due to the nature of the search engine.

"Rhode+Island"+Secretary+of+State&um=1&ie=UTF-8&output=rss Rhode Island Secretary of State News Feed

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Contact Information

Capitol Address:
Secretary of State
82 Smith Street
State House Room 217
Providence, RI 02903

Rhode Island

Phone: (401) 222-2357
Toll Free Phone: 711
Fax: (401) 222-1356
E-mail: aralphmollis@sec.state.ri.us

See also

External links

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