Secretary of State Law and Legal Definition

The Secretary of State maintains filings and records related to corporations, financial and banking transactions, executive branch commissions, Legislative mandates, and other public organizations. For instance, if a person wants to form a corporation, he or she must file Articles of Incorporation and other information with the agency. If you are a proprietor of certain businesses, or certain other associations doing business in the state, you must be registered with the Secretary of State. The Secretary of State is elected periodically and is second in the line of succession to the Office of the Governor. There is also a Secretary of State in the executive cabinet of the federal government.

The Secretary of State's responsibilities 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 Employee Involvement and Recognition 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.