Secretary of State of Indiana
|Secretary of State of Indiana
Seal of Indiana
|Term length||4 years|
|Inaugural holder||Robert A. New
November 7, 1816
The Secretary of State of the U.S. state of Indiana is one of five constitutional officers originally designated in Indiana's State Constitution of 1816. Since 1851 it has been an elected position. The Secretary of State oversees four divisions, and is considered to be the second most powerful member of the executive branch of the state government. The Secretary serves as the State's chief election officer, enforces state securities regulations, regulates automobile dealerships in Indiana, and manages the state business services division. The current office holder is Connie Lawson, who was appointed by Gov. Mitch Daniels to serve out the term of former Secretary of State Charlie White, who was removed from office due to felony convictions. The annual salary of the Secretary of State of Indiana is $66,000.
Qualifications and term limits
The Indiana Secretary of State is a constitutional office first established in the 1816 Constitution of Indiana. Between 1816 and until 1851, the Secretary of State was nominated by the governor and confirmed by the state senate. With the adoption of the current constitution in 1851 the Secretary of State's office was filled by a public statewide election every four years.
To be eligible to serve as Secretary of State, a candidate must be a registered voter who is at least 30 years old on the day they take the oath of office. Secretaries of State take office on December 1 following their election and hold office for four years. Should they resign, be impeached, or die in office the governor has the power to appoint a temporary Secretary of State to serve until the next general election. The new Secretary of State, either appointed or elected, may only complete the term of the previous Secretary of State, not serve a new four-year term. A Secretary of State may be reelected any number of times, but may serve no more than eight years in any 12-year period. As of 2007, the salary for the secretary is $66,000 annually.
Secretary of State elections determine party status in Indiana. A party's Secretary of State candidate must garner at least 10 percent of the vote for his or her party to be considered a major party in the state.
The Indiana Secretary of State is a constitutional office in the executive branch of the Government of Indiana. The constitution delegates power to oversee state elections by registering candidates, creating ballots, and certifying winners. Additionally all campaign financing information is also reported to the secretary who ensures it is compliant with state laws. This is accomplished through the Indiana Election Commission which is headed by the secretary who must personally sign off on all decisions. In cases of contested election, the Secretary of state is also the head of the State Recount Commission which has final authority in certifying elections.
The Indiana General Assembly has granted the secretary additional statutory powers to maintain the state's registry of notaries, overseeing the state's criminal records, and managing the statewide human resources and payroll for the entire state government. The secretary oversees all these tasks as the head of the Indiana Department of Administration which has a several hundred member staff which is hired through the state merit system, denying the secretary a significant number of patronage position under his control.
The Indiana Securities Division is placed under the leadership of the secretary. The division is statutory and is responsible for enforcing regulations on the purchase, sale, and trade of all security investments in the state. The division is responsible for granting operating licenses to collection agencies who wish to collect debts within the state. The division investigates violations of the state securities laws, can levy fines on law violators, and can request the Indiana Attorney General peruse criminal charges. As of 2007, the division regulated over 1,000 trading firms and their nearly 40,000 agents.
The secretary also heads the statutory Division of Business Services. The division is responsible for maintaining the records of all corporations operating within Indiana, which in 2007 amounted to over 250,000 active and inactive corporations. Non-profit businesses, limited liability companies, and limited liability partnerships also are required to register with the division. The division also approves trademarks and service marks for state companies. The division also maintains Indiana's Uniform Commercial Code which documents the assets and finances of businesses that fall under jurisdiction of the code. In 2007, approximately one million records were kept in accordance with the code.
The Office of Secretary of State is one of five constitutional officers originally designated in Indiana's State Constitution of 1816. Sixty-one Hoosiers have served as the third highest-ranking official in state government.
Early duties of the office included the maintenance of state records and preservation of the state seal. But as state government expanded, so did the responsibilities of the Secretary of State. Present responsibilities include chartering of new business, regulation of the securities industry, administering regulations relating to the registration of motorized vehicle dealers, and oversight of state elections.
Organization of Office
The Executive Office, located in the Indiana Statehouse, oversees the overall policy, management, and budgeting for the entire office. Four main divisions comprise the balance of the office: Elections, Business Services, Securities and Dealer Services.
Elections - The Elections Division assists the Secretary of State in carrying out the responsibilities assigned as Indiana's chief elections officer. The bipartisan division is composed of an equal number of Democrats and Republicans. The division's administrative responsibilities include overseeing the candidate declaration process, certifying election results, and maintaining campaign finance reports. The Secretary of State also serves as chairperson for the Indiana Recount Commission and participates in voter outreach projects aimed at increasing voter participation. The Indiana Election Commission, as opposed to the Division, is an independently appointed Commission of two Republicans and two Democrats. The commission deals with questions associated with violations of the Indiana election laws, and with the imposition of penalties.
Business Services - The Business Services Division administers all business-related responsibilities for the Secretary of State including the chartering of new businesses, the filing of commercial liens, and the issuance of trademarks, notaries public and summonses.
Securities - The Securities Division oversees Indiana's securities industry. The division is charged with protecting Hoosier investors by bringing enforcement actions against companies and individuals selling securities in violation of Indiana's securities laws and by educating Hoosiers about prudent investing. Over the past four years, the division has imposed a record amount in fines and penalties against scam artists preying upon unsuspecting Hoosier investors.
Dealer Services - Dealer Services administers regulations relating to the registration of motorized vehicle dealers, including dealers for automobiles, watercraft, off-road vehicles and automobile salvage.
List of Secretaries of State
|#||Name||Took office||Left office||Party||Hometown||Notes|
|1||John Gibson||July 4, 1800||November 7, 1816||Democratic-Republican||Knox County, Indiana|||
Secretaries of State
|#||Name||Took office||Left office||Party||Hometown||Notes|
|1||Robert A. New||November 7, 1816||December 6, 1825||Democratic-Republican||Clark County, Indiana|
|2||William Wick||January 14, 1825||January 14, 1829||Democrat||Connersville, Indiana|
|3||James Morrison||January 14, 1829||January 14, 1833||Republican||Charlestown, Indiana|
|4||William Sheets||January 14, 1833||January 14, 1837||Whig||Madison, Indiana|
|5||William J. Brown||January 14, 1837||January 14, 1841||Democrat||Rushville, Indiana|
|6||William Sheets||January 14, 1841||January 14, 1845||Whig||Madison, Indiana|
|7||John H. Thompson||January 14, 1845||January 14, 1849||Whig||Clark County, Indiana|
|8||Charles H. Test||January 14, 1849||January 14, 1851||Republican||Wayne County, Indiana|
|9||Nehemiah Hayden||January 14, 1853||January 14, 1855||Democrat||Rush County, Indiana|
|10||Erasmus B. Collins||January 14, 1855||January 14, 1857||Republican||Dearborn County, Indiana|
|11||Daniel McClure||January 16, 1857||October 28, 1858||Democrat||Marion County, Indiana|||
|12||Cyrus L. Dunham||October 28, 1858||January 15, 1861||Democrat||New Albany, Indiana|
|13||William A. Peele||January 15, 1861||January 15, 1863||Republican||Winchester, Indiana|
|14||James S. Athon||January 16, 1863||January 16, 1865||Democrat||Marion County, Indiana|
|15||Nelson Trusler||January 16, 1865||January 16, 1869||Republican||Connersville, Indiana|
|16||Max F. A. Hoffman||January 16, 1869||January 16, 1871||Republican||Valparaiso, Indiana|
|17||Norman Eddy||January 16, 1871||February 1, 1872||Democrat||South Bend, Indiana|||
|18||John H. Farquhar||February 1, 1872||January 16, 1873||Republican||Richmond, Indiana|
|19||William W. Curry||January 16, 1873||January 16, 1875||Republican||Terre Haute, Indiana|
|20||John E. Neff||January 16, 1875||January 16, 1879||Democrat||Winchester, Indiana|
|21||John G. Shanklin||January 16, 1879||January 16, 1881||Democrat||Evansville, Indiana|
|22||Emanuel R. Hawn||January 16, 1881||January 16, 1883||Republican||Leavenworth, Indiana|
|23||William R. Myers||January 16, 1883||January 16, 1887||Democrat||Anderson, Indiana|
|24||Charles F. Griffin||January 16, 1887||January 16, 1891||Republican||Hammond, Indiana|
|25||Claude Matthews||January 16, 1891||January 9, 1893||Democrat||Vermillion County, Indiana|||
|26||Myron D. King||January 9, 1893||January 17, 1893||Democrat||Covington, Indiana|
|27||William R. Myers||January 17, 1893||January 17, 1895||Democrat||Anderson, Indiana|
|28||William D. Owen||January 17, 1895||January 17, 1899||Republican||Bedford, Indiana|
|29||Union B. Hunt||January 17, 1899||January 17, 1903||Republican||Randolph County, Indiana|
|30||Daniel E. Storms||January 17, 1903||April 1, 1906||Republican||Stockwell, Indiana|||
|31||Fred A. Sims||April 1, 1906||November 27, 1910||Republican||Indianapolis, Indiana|
|32||L. G. Ellingham||November 27, 1910||November 27, 1914||Democrat||Decatur, Indiana|
|33||Homer L. Cook||November 27, 1914||November 27, 1916||Democrat||Indianapolis, Indiana|
|34||Edward L. Jackson||November 27, 1916||November 21, 1917||Republican||Indianapolis, Indiana|||
|35||William A. Roach||November 22, 1917||January 17, 1920||Republican||Delphi, Indiana|||
|36||Edward L. Jackson||January 22, 1920||November 27, 1924||Republican||Indianapolis, Indiana|||
|37||Fred Schortemeier||December 1, 1924||December 1, 1928||Republican||Indianapolis, Indiana|
|38||Otto G. Fifield||December 1, 1928||December 1, 1930||Republican||Crown Point, Indiana|
|39||Frank Mayr Jr.||December 1, 1930||December 1, 1934||Democrat||South Bend, Indiana|
|40||August G. Mueller||December 1, 1934||December 1, 1938||Democrat||Indianapolis, Indiana|
|41||James M. Tucker||December 1, 1938||July 25, 1942||Republican||Paoli, Indiana|||
|42||Maurice G. Thompson||July 25, 1942||December 1, 1942||Republican||Anderson, Indiana|
|43||Rue J. Alexander||December 1, 1942||December 1, 1946||Republican||Pine Village, Indiana|
|44||Thomas E. Bath Jr.||December 2, 1946||December 1, 1948||Republican||South Bend, Indiana|
|45||Charles F. Fleming||December 1, 1948||December 1, 1950||Democrat||Hammond, Indiana|
|46||Leland L. Smith||December 1, 1950||December 1, 1952||Republican||Logansport, Indiana|
|47||Crawford F. Parker||December 1, 1952||December 1, 1956||Republican||New Castle, Indiana|
|48||Frank A. Lennings||December 1, 1956||December 1, 1958||Republican||Bloomfield, Indiana|
|49||John R. Walsh||December 1, 1958||December 1, 1960||Democrat||Martinsville, Indiana|
|50||Charles O. Hendricks||December 1, 1960||December 1, 1964||Republican||Speed, Indiana|
|51||John D. Bottorff||December 1, 1964||December 1, 1966||Democrat||Indianapolis, Indiana|
|52||Edgar Whitcomb||December 1, 1966||December 1, 1968||Republican||Seymour, Indiana|||
|53||William N. Salin||December 1, 1968||December 1, 1970||Republican||Fort Wayne, Indiana|
|54||Larry Conrad||December 1, 1970||December 1, 1978||Democrat||Muncie, Indiana|
|55||Edwin Simcox||December 1, 1978||December 1, 1986||Republican||Indianapolis, Indiana|
|56||Evan Bayh||December 1, 1986||January 9, 1989||Democrat||Evansville, Indiana|||
|57||Joe Hogsett||January 9, 1989||December 1, 1994||Democrat||Indianapolis, Indiana|
|58||Sue Anne Gilroy||December 1, 1994||December 1, 2002||Republican||Indianapolis, Indiana|
|59||Todd Rokita||December 1, 2002||December 1, 2010||Republican||Munster, Indiana|
|60||Charlie White||January 6, 2011||February 4, 2012||Republican||Fishers, Indiana|
|-||Jerry Bonnet||February 4, 2011||March 16, 2012||Republican||Indianapolis, Indiana|||
|61||Connie Lawson||March 16, 2012||Republican||Danville, Indiana|||
Notes and references
- "Information Maintained by the Office of Code Revision Indiana Legislative Services Agency". State of Indiana. 2008-11-22. Retrieved 2008-11-23.
- Indiana Chamber, p. 14
- Shella, Jim. Charlie White could damage GOP more than you think. WISH-TV, 2011-03-11.
- Indiana Chamber, p. 15
- Indiana Code, p. 16
- Served as acting-governor of Indiana Territory from December 28, 1812–March 3, 1813
- Resigned from office
- Died in office
- Served as Governor of Indiana
- Pliny H. Wolford served as acting-Secretary of State for four days between the death of William A. Roach and the appointment of Edward L. Jackson (Funk, p 208)
- Served on an interim basis after the explusion of White from office
- Mary Beth Schneider (March 15, 2012). "Gov. Mitch Daniels picks Connie Lawson as new Indiana Secretary of State". Indianapolis Star. Retrieved March 15, 2012.
- Funk, Arville L (1969, revised 1983). A Sketchbook of Indiana History. Rochester, Indiana: Christian Book Press. pp. 207–209.
- Indiana Chamber (2007). Here's Your Indiana Government. Indiana Camber of Commerce. ISBN 978-1-883698-79-9.