Secretary of State of Washington

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Kim Wyman, current Secretary of State

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 15 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

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

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

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

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

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

# Name Term Party
1 Allan Weir 1890–1893 Republican
2 James Price 1893–1896 Republican
3 Will Jenkins 1896–1900 Populist
4 Samuel Nichols 1900–1909 Republican
5 Ithamar Howell 1909–1920 Republican
6 Jay Hinkle 1920–1932 Republican
7 Ernest Hutchinson 1932–1938 Democratic
8 Belle Reeves 1938–1948 Democratic
9 Earl Coe 1948–1956 Democratic
10 Vic Meyers 1956–1964 Democratic
11 Lud Kramer 1964–1975 Republican
12 Bruce Chapman 1975–1980 Republican
13 Ralph Munro 1980–2000 Republican
14 Sam Reed 2000–2013 Republican
15 Kim Wyman 2013–present Republican

See also


  1. ^ About the Office of Secretary of State of Washington
  2. ^ The Washington State Seal
  3. ^ Laws Regarding the Washington State Medal of Valor
  4. ^ Laws Regarding the Washington State Medal of Merit
  5. ^ Washington Secretary of State, State Flag page
  6. ^ Washington State Public Disclosure Commission homepage Archived 2008-09-13 at the Wayback Machine.
  7. ^ Washington Secretary of State Corporations Division page
  8. ^ Comparison of business structures, from the Office of the Washington Secretary of State
  9. ^ Washington Secretary of State, Charities & Trusts Division
  10. ^ Washington State Address Confidentiality Program
  11. ^ Washington State Archives
  12. ^ "Washington's Secretaries of State - Past and Present". Retrieved 2012-01-06. 

External links

  • Official homepage of the Washington Secretary of State
  • List of previous Washington Secretaries of State
  • Washington State Elections Top 2 Primary FAQ
  • Secretary of State Sam Reed Biography
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