Secretary of State of Washington

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The Secretary of State of Washington is one of the elected constitutional officers of the U.S. state of Washington. The duties of the office are specified in Article III, Section 17 of the Washington State Constitution and Chapter 43.07 of the Revised Code of Washington. The Secretary of State is second (behind the Lieutenant Governor) in the line of succession to the Office of the Governor. There have been 14 Secretaries of State since Washington became a state.

The current Secretary of State is Kim Wyman.


To hold office as secretary of state, a person must be a United States citizen registered to vote in the state of Washington, provide a $10,000 surety bond to the state conditioned on faithful execution of the duties of office, and reside in the city of Olympia, Washington by the time of inauguration (only the Governor of Washington and secretary of state are constitutionally required to live in the state capital city).


Keeper of the Seal[edit]

The Secretary of State is the keeper of the Seal of Washington, and is responsible for regulating its use, affixing it to commissions, pardons, and other documents to which the signature of the Governor is required, and filing and attesting to official acts of the Legislature and Governor.[1][2]

The secretary has additional duties related to the curating of state heraldry, honors, and regalia. He or she is an ex officio non-voting member of the committees for the Washington Medal of Valor and the Washington Medal of Merit,[3][4] and is responsible for regulating the use of the Washington State Flag.[5]

Elections Oversight[edit]

The office of the secretary is, generally, responsible for oversight of elections (individual county auditors manage candidate registration, ballot preparation, polling, and canvassing), principally by accrediting the balloting procedures used by each county, certifying the results of elections, verifying petition signatures used to qualify initiatives and referenda, and distributing the state voter's pamphlet and official notice of elections advertisements. (Lobbying and campaign finance issues are separately regulated by the Washington State Public Disclosure Commission.[6])

Registrar of Corporations[edit]

The Corporations Division of the Office of the Secretary of State[7] is responsible for registering limited partnerships, limited liability partnerships, corporations, and limited liability companies.[8] The Secretary also regulates charities and charitable trusts,[9] including registering individuals, organizations and commercial fundraisers involved in charitable solicitations.

Miscellaneous Duties[edit]

A variety of miscellaneous duties have been assigned to the secretary of state through statute, including coordination of the state's Address Confidentiality Program,[10] management of the Washington State Library and Washington State Archives,[11] and chairing the Washington State Productivity Board.

List of Washington Secretaries of State[edit]

The State of Washington has had a total of fifteen Secretaries of State:[12]

  1. Allan Weir 1889—1896
  2. James Price 1892—1896 (R)
  3. Will Jenkins 1896—1900 (populist)
  4. Samuel Nichols 1900—1909 (R)
  5. Ithamar Howell 1909—1920 (R)
  6. Jay Hinkle 1920—1932 (R)
  7. Earnest Hutchinson 1932—1938 (D)
  8. Belle Reeves 1938—1948 (D)
  9. Earl Coe 1948—1956 (D)
  10. Vic Meyers 1956—1964 (D)
  11. Lud Kramer 1964—1975 (R)
  12. Bruce Chapman 1975—1980 (R)
  13. Ralph Munro 1980—2000 (R)
  14. Sam Reed 2000—2013 (R)
  15. Kim Wyman 2013—present (R)

See also[edit]


External links[edit]