Washington Secretary of State
The current officeholder in the position is Sam Reed. He is the state's senior statewide Republican elected official, and will finish his third term in 2012. In late June, 2011, Reed announced he will not seek a fourth term in office:
Article III, Section 2:
Executive Department. The executive department shall consist of a governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state, treasurer, auditor, attorney general, superintendent of public instruction, and a commissioner of public lands, who shall be severally chosen by the qualified electors of the state at the same time and place of voting as for the members of the legislature.
|Qualifications, Compensation, Offices Which May Be Abolished. No person, except a citizen of the United States and a qualified elector of this state, shall be eligible to hold any state office...|
- a citizen of the United States
- a qualified elector in Washington
In Washington, the governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state, treasurer, auditor, attorney general, superintendent of public instruction, and commissioner of public lands are elected every four years. Elections are held in November and winners assume office the following January, serving until their successors are elected and qualified.
Washington elects their state executives in presidential years (2012, 2016, and 2020).
There are no term limits for this office.
In the event of a vacancy in this office, the governor shall fill the vacancy by appointment. The term of the appointee expires when a successor has been elected and qualified.
Some of the secretary of state's duties include:
- Supervising state and local elections, and certifying the results of state primaries and general elections.
- Filing and verifying initiatives and referendums.
- Producing and distributing the state voters pamphlet and election-notice legal advertising.
- Registering and licensing private corporations, limited partnerships and trademarks.
- Registering individuals, organizations and commercial fundraisers involved in charitable solicitations.
- Administering the state's Address Confidentiality Program for survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking.
- Collecting and preserving the historical records of the state, and making those records available for research.
- Coordinating implementation of the state's records management laws.
- Serving as chairman of the state Productivity Board.
- Affixing the State Seal and attesting to commissions, pardons, and other documents to which the signature of the Governor is required.
- Regulating use of the State Seal.
- Filing or attesting to official acts of the legislature and governor.
- Certifying to the legislature all matters legally required to be certified.
- State Archives
- State Library
Article III, Section 17 of the state constitution initially set the annual salary of the secretary at $2,500 but allowed for the state legislature to increase it. In 2010, the secretary was paid an estimated $116,950, according to the Council of State Governments.
Washington Secretary of State
Post Office Box 40220
Olympia, WA 98504-0220
Phone: (360) 902-4151
Fax: (360) 586-5629
- Sam Reed, Secretary of State for Washington
- Governor of Washington
- Lieutenant Governor of Washington
- Attorney General of Washington
- Washington Constitution
- Office of the Washington Secretary of State
- About the office of the Washington Secretary of State
- Information on how to file Initiatives and Referenda with the state government.
- Current lists of citizen initiative, legislative referrals and referenda.
- An account of the history of I&R in Washington.
- An FAQ on circulating petitions in the state.
- Freedom Foundation, "Top 3 Reasons the Secretary of State matters," March 27, 2012