West Virginia Secretary of State
|West Virginia Secretary of State|
|Office website:||Official Link|
|2013 FY Budget:||$1,307,638|
|Length of term:||4 years|
|Authority:||West Virginia Constitution, Article VII, Section 1|
|Assumed office:||January 19, 2009|
|Next election:||November 8, 2016|
|Last election:||November 6, 2012|
|Other West Virginia Executive Offices|
|Governor • Lieutenant Governor • Secretary of State • Attorney General • Treasurer • Auditor • Superintendent of Education• Agriculture Commissioner • Insurance Commissioner• Natural Resources Commissioner • Secretary of Commerce • Commissioner of Labor • Public Service Commission|
West Virginia is one of only three states that does not have a Lieutenant Governor. The Secretary of State assumes many of the roles traditionally reserved for the lieutenant governor, and is second-in-command in the event the governor is unable to carry out the duties of office.
The current officeholder is Natalie Tennant.
Article VII, Section 1:
|The executive department shall consist of a governor, secretary of state, auditor, treasurer, commissioner of agriculture and attorney general...|
No person, except citizens entitled to vote, shall be elected or appointed to any state, county or municipal office; but the governor and judges must have attained the age of thirty, and the attorney general and senators the age of twenty-five years, at the beginning of their respective terms of service; and must have been citizens of the state for five years next preceding their election or appointment, or be citizens at the time this constitution goes into operation.
- a citizen entitled to vote
- a resident of West Virginia for at least the preceding 5 years
The Office of Secretary of State is a publicly elected statewide position with elections held every four years. Elections are held in November and officers assume their duties the following January. There are no term limits for the office.
|West Virginia Secretary of State General Election, 2012|
|Democratic||Natalie Tennant Incumbent||62.4%||339,235|
|Election Results West Virginia Secretary of State Election Results Center.|
Details of vacancy appointments are addressed under Article VII, Section 17 of the state constitution.
If the office of secretary of state becomes vacant, it is the duty of the governor to fill the position by appointment. The appointee serves until a new commissioner is elected.
The West Virginia Secretary of State is the smallest constitutional office in the state - physically, fiscally, and in terms of the number of staff. The duties of the office, though, are extensive. The primary responsibility of the secretary is to serve as the chief election officer. The "work horse" of the office is the business and licensing division, which registers, licenses, and keeps a database of all businesses, corporations, charities, notary publics, private investigators, and sports agents operating within West Virginia. The secretary also files public notices of all state agency meetings, sends official documents on behalf of the governor, and certifies gubernatorial proclamations by affixing the state seal and their signature to official documents.
The office of the secretary of state is comprised of the following offices:
- The Administrative Law Division is the official archive and clearinghouse for agency rules, notices, orders, decisions and other procedural documents. This division publishes the state's gazette, the West Virginia Register.
- The Business Organizations Division charters and maintains records for business entities and registers trademarks and service marks. This division also licenses lending institutions and purchasers of future payments.
- The Charities Division registers and regulates charitable organizations and professional fundraisers operating within the state.
- The Elections Division administers elections, implements state and federal election laws, and regulates campaign finance.
- The Executive Records Division maintains the records of official acts of the Governor, enrolled bills, surety bonds, oaths of office of state officials, as well as the records of some state agencies.
- The Notary Public Section licenses and monitors notaries public.
- The UCC Section files liens pursuant to the Uniform Commercial Code.
The budget for the Secretary of State's Office in Fiscal Year 2013 was $1,307,638.
- See also: Compensation of state executive officers
Article 7, Section 19 of the state constitution defines the method by which the secretary of state's compensation is set:
|The officers named in this article shall receive for their services a salary to be established by law, which shall not be increased or diminished during their official terms, and they shall not, after they shall not, after the expirations of the terms of those in office at the adoption of this amendment, receive to their own use any fees, costs, perquisites of office or other compensation, and all fees that may hereafter be payable by law, for any service performed by any officer provided for in this article of the Constitution, shall be paid in advance into the state treasury.|
Chapter 6, Article 7-2 of the West Virginia Code lays out the exact compensation for certain state officers. According to this section of the state code, the salary of the secretary of state, beginning in 2009 and for each calendar year thereafter, shall be $95,000.
- Summary of past officeholders. Since 1863, West Virginia has had 29 secretaries of state.
Click "show" for former officeholders.
|#||Name||Took office||Left office||Party|
|1||Jacob Edgar Boyers||1863||1865||Republican|
|2||Graville D. Hall||1865||1867||Republican|
|3||John S. Witcher||1867||1869||Republican|
|4||James M. Pipes||1869||1871||Republican|
|5||John M. Phelps||1871||1873||Republican|
|9||Henry S. Walker||1885||1890||Democrat|
|10||William A. Ohley||1890||1893||Democrat|
|11||William E. Chilton||1893||1897||Democrat|
|12||William M.O. Dawson||1897||1905||Republican|
|13||Charles Wesley Swisher||1905||1909||Republican|
|14||Stuart F. Reed||1909||1917||Republican|
|15||Houston G. Young||1917||1925||Republican|
|16||George W. Sharp||1925||1933||Republican|
|18||Daniel Pitt O'Brien||1948||1957||Democrat|
|19||Helen F. Holt||1957||1958||Republican|
|20||Joe F. Burdett||1958||1965||Democrat|
|21||Robert D. Bailey, Jr.||1965||1972||Democrat|
|22||John D. Rockefeller, IV||1969||1972||Democrat|
|23||Edgar F. Heiskill||1972||1975||Republican|
|24||James R. McCartney||1975||1977||Republican|
|25||A. James Manchin||1977||1985||Democrat|
|27||Joe Manchin III||2001||2005||Democrat|
|29||Natalie E. Tennant||2009||present||Democrat|
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Secretary of State
Building 1, Suite 157-K
1900 Kanawha Boulevard East
Charleston, WV 25305-0770
Phone: (304) 558-6000
Toll Free Phone: (866) 767-8683
Fax: (304) 558-0900
- Natalie Tennant, West Virginia Secretary of State
- Governor of West Virginia
- Attorney General of West Virginia
- West Virginia Constitution
- West Virginia Secretary of State "Tennant talks elections, office duties with state Auditor Gainer (Video included)," Retrieved June 20, 2011
- West Virginia State Budget Office, "Legislature's Enrolled FY 2013 Budget Bill," accessed April 3, 2013
- West Virginia Code, " Retrieved June 20, 2011
- The Council of State Governments,"The Book of States 2010 Table 4.11," retrieved June 7, 2011
- West Virginia Secretary of State "History" Retrieved June 20, 2011