Monday, November 8, 2010

Why Your Secretary of State Matters

Do you know who your Secretary of State is? If you live in Alaska, Hawaii, or Utah, don't worry, because you don’t have one. But in 37 of the 47 states that do, the Secretary of State also serves as the state's Chief Election Official. That means they control balloting, recounts, and the overall conduct of elections.

Why does that matter? Well, for example, the Kansas Secretary of State-elect already has plans to introduce a bill to legislators that will require voters to show photo ID at the polls and will also require proof of citizenship when registering to vote for the first time. In North Dakota, in the event of a tie in any election for the state legislature, the Secretary of State tosses a coin to determine the winner.

How does one become the Secretary of State? In 35 states, he or she is elected by popular vote. In 3 states (TN, ME, NH), the Secretary of State is elected by the state legislature, while in 9 states--including Texas, New York, Florida, and Oklahoma--the governor appoints someone to the post.

Learn more about this year's Secretary of State elections, and the 26 seats that were up for grabs.

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Sophie Lehman said...

And on Election Night, the Nevada Secretary of State website received 34.6 million hits from readers looking for results!

Sophie Lehman said... has this update on the new chief state election officials:

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