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Tennessee Secretary of State

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Tennessee Secretary of State
General information
Office Type:  Partisan
Office website:  Official Link
2011-2012 FY Budget:  $1,544,900
Term limits:  None
Length of term:   4 years
Authority:  Tennessee Constitution, Article III, Section 17
Selection Method:  Elected by the state legislature
Current Officeholder

Tre Hargett.jpg
Name:  Tre Hargett
Officeholder Party:  Republican
Assumed office:  January 15, 2009
Compensation:  $182,800
Other Tennessee Executive Offices
GovernorLieutenant GovernorSecretary of StateAttorney GeneralComptrollerTreasurerSuperintendent of EducationAgriculture CommissionerInsurance CommissionerNatural Resources CommissionerLabor CommissionerPublic Service Commission
The Tennessee Secretary of State is an executive position in the Tennessee state government, elected by the state legislature. The secretary is the chief elections officer and carries out many of the administrative duties of the state government. Unlike virtually every other state, the Tennessee Secretary of State is not the keeper of the state seal; this duty lies with the Governor of Tennessee, the state's only popularly elected executive official.

Current officeholder

The current officeholder is Tre Hargett. He officially took office on January 15, 2009.[1]


The office of secretary of state is established in Article III, Section 17 of the state constitution.

Article III, Section 17:

A secretary of state shall be appointed by joint vote of the General Assembly, and commissioned during the term of four years; he shall keep a fair register of all the official acts and proceedings of the governor; and shall, when required lay the same, and all papers, minutes and vouchers relative thereto, before the General Assembly; and shall perform such other duties as shall be enjoined by law.


There are no specific qualifications for this office.


Tennessee state government organizational chart

The secretary is elected by joint vote of the Tennessee General Assembly, and serves a term of four years.


According to Article III, Section 14 of the state constitution, in the event of a vacancy in the office the Tennessee General Assembly shall elect a successor. If the vacancy occurs during a recess of the legislature, the governor shall have the power to fill the vacancy by appointment, which shall expire at the end of the next session of the legislature.


The state constitution requires the secretary of state to keep a register of all official acts and proceedings of the governor. The secretary serves on the following state boards and agencies:

  • State Funding Board
  • Board of Equalization
  • Board of Claims
  • State Building Commission
  • Tennessee Local Development Authority (TLDA)
  • Tennessee State School Bond Authority (TSSBA)
  • Public Records Commission
  • Tennessee Housing Development Agency (THDA)
  • Board of Trustees of the Tennessee Consolidated *Retirement System
  • State Capitol Commission
  • Tennessee Higher Education Commission (THEC)
  • Chairs of Excellence Trust
  • State Trust of Tennessee
  • Baccalaureate Education System Trust (BEST)
  • Tennessee Parks and Greenways Commission

The official duties are further outlined in Title 8, Chapter 3, Part 1 of the Tennessee code:

  1. Keep the secretary of state's office at the seat of government;
  2. Keep a fair register of all the official acts and proceedings of the government;
  3. Lay the same, when required, and all papers, minutes, and vouchers relating thereto, before the general assembly at each session;
  4. Cause the original acts and resolutions of the general assembly, that are enrolled and filed in the secretary of state's office, to be bound together, and preserved in that form in such office;
  5. Make out and deliver to the printer, for publication, attested copies thereof as soon after receiving them as conveniently may be, and collate the printed copies with the originals; provided, that resolutions of the general assembly shall be published in accordance with the provisions of title 12, chapters 5 and 6;
  6. Receive and safely keep all official bonds directed by law to be lodged in the secretary of state's office, record the same in books for that purpose, give attested copies thereof agreeably to law, and lay such bonds and such record before the general assembly when required;
  7. Issue a summons, under the secretary of state's hand and the seal of the state, to each public officer who is required by law to enter into bond payable to the state of Tennessee for the performance of official duty, and who has failed and neglected to forward the same, as required by law, commanding such officer to deposit such bond in the office of the secretary of state;
  8. Make out all commissions to be issued by the governor and, when signed by the governor but not before, affix to them the seal of the state;
  9. Affix the seal of the state to any other instrument or act when authorized by the governor, but not otherwise;
  10. Give to any person requiring the same, and paying lawful fees, an attested copy of any act, record, or paper in the secretary of state's office, except papers relating immediately to the executive department, and, in the governor's judgment, requiring secrecy;
  11. Examine and adjust any account presented against the secretary of state's office for freight, storage, and other necessary charges on books and documents transmitted from other states of the union for the use of this state, and certify the same to be just and true, as adjusted;
  12. Record in the secretary of state's office titles to the state;
  13. Preserve carefully in the secretary of state's office all copies of the records of the boundaries of civil districts forwarded to the secretary of state by the county clerks;
  14. Furnish the commissioner of revenue on the first day of each month a list of all new corporations that have been licensed or authorized to operate in this state during the preceding month; and
  15. Furnish the commissioner of revenue on the first day of each month a list of all corporations that have surrendered their charters or have ceased to do business in this state during the preceding month.[2]


  • Administrative Hearings
  • Business Services
  • Charitable Solicitations and Gaming
  • Elections
  • Library and Archives
  • Publications

State budget

The budget for the Secretary of State's office in Fiscal Year 2011-2012 was $1,544,900.[3]


See also: Compensation of state executive officers

In 2012, the Tennessee Secretary of State was paid an estimated $182,800 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 Tennessee 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.

Recent news

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Tennessee Secretary of State News Feed

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Contact information


Capitol Address:
Secretary of State
State Capitol
Nashville, TN 37243-1102

Phone: (615) 741-2819

See also

External links

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