Secretary of State of Rhode Island

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The Secretary of State of Rhode Island is an elected office in the U.S. state of Rhode Island. As of 2015, the current Secretary of State is Nellie Gorbea.

The Rhode Island Department of State or is composed of five separate divisions:

  • The Elections and Civics Division prepares ballots, ensures accessibility of voting facilities, qualifies and certifies the names of all federal and state candidates for ballot placement, maintains a database of registered voters, and ensures compliance with the Help America Vote Act. Administration of elections and compliance with campaign finance laws is the responsibility of a separate state agency, the Rhode Island Board of Elections.
  • The Corporations Division is responsible for a wide range of business-related legal documents and filings, including formation of corporations and other business entities, liens and security interests under the Uniform Commercial Code, registration of notaries public, apostilles, trademarks and service marks, registration of businesses conducting games of chance, and various other documents required by state law.
  • The Public Information Division accepts many filings required to be made with Secretary of State, including Lobbying Disclosures, Public Meeting Notices and Minutes, Disclosure of State Government Consultants and Appointments to Boards and Commissions, and other government information. This division also publishes the Rhode Island Government Owner's Manual, which gives a broad overview of various government offices and officials.
  • The Rhode Island State Archives is the official custodian and trustee for public records of permanent historical value.
  • The Rhode Island State Library, which was created in 1852 by a General Assembly resolution as part of the office of the Secretary of State. Its purpose is to assist members of the General Assembly with research on the preparation of proposed legislation. The State Library also includes a law library.[1]

Secretaries of state[edit]

List of officeholders[2]
Name Tenure Party
Samuel Eddy 1798–1819 Republican
Henry Bowen 1843–1849
Christopher E. Robbins 1849–1851
Asa Potter 1851–1854
William R. Watson 1844–1855
John Russell Bartlett 1855–1872
Joshua M. Addeman 1872–1887
Edwin D. McGuinness 1887–1888
Samuel H. Cross 1888–1890
Edwin D. McGuinness 1890–1891
George H. Utter 1891–1894 Republican
Charles P. Bennett 1894–1909 Republican
J. Fred Parker 1909–1924 Republican
Ernest L. Sprague 1924–1933 Republican
Louis W. Cappelli 1933–1939 Democratic
J. Hector Paquin 1939–1941 Republican
Armand H. Cote 1941–1957 Democratic
John A. Notte, Jr. 1957–1959 Democratic
August P. LaFrance 1959–1973 Democratic
Robert F. Burns 1973–1983 Democratic
Susan Farmer 1983–1987 Republican
Kathleen S. Connell 1987–1993 Democratic
Barbara Leonard 1993–1995 Republican
James Langevin 1995–2001 Democratic
Edward S. Inman 2001–2003 Democratic
Matthew A. Brown 2003–2007 Democratic
Ralph Mollis 2007–2015 Democratic
Nellie Gorbea 2015–present Democratic

See also[edit]


External links[edit]