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Secretary of State of Indiana

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Secretary of State of Indiana
Holli Sullivan

since March 16, 2021
Term length4 years
Inaugural holderRobert A. New
November 7, 1816
FormationIndiana Constitution

The Secretary of 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 the third highest constitutional office 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 Holli Sullivan, who was appointed by Governor Eric Holcomb to serve out the term of former Secretary of State Connie Lawson, who announced in February 2021 that she planned on resigning from office.[1] [2] The annual salary of the Secretary of State of Indiana is $74,580.[3]

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.[4]

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 2014, the salary for the secretary is $74,580 annually.[3]

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.[5]


The Indiana Secretary of State is a constitutional office in the executive branch of the Government of Indiana. State law designates the Indiana Secretary of State as the state’s chief election officer.[6] The Indiana Election Division assists the Secretary in receiving candidate filings and certifying election results.[7] The Indiana Election Division also receives campaign finance reports and assists the Indiana Election Commission in the administration of campaign finance laws.[8] The Secretary of State serves as chair of the State Recount Commission which conducts recounts and contests regarding major party primary nominations and general elections for federal, statewide, and state legislative offices.[9]

The Indiana General Assembly has granted the secretary additional statutory powers to maintain the state's registry of notaries.[10]

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 pursue criminal charges. As of 2007, the division regulated over 1,000 trading firms and their nearly 40,000 agents.[11]

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.[12]


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

  Democratic-Republican   Democratic   Whig   Republican

Territorial secretaries

# Name Took office Left office Party Hometown Notes
1 John Gibson July 4, 1800 November 7, 1816 Democratic-Republican Knox County, Indiana [a]

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 Democratic Connersville, Indiana
3 James Morrison January 14, 1829 January 14, 1833 Democratic-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 Democratic 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 Democratic 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 Democratic Marion County, Indiana [b]
12 Cyrus L. Dunham October 28, 1858 January 15, 1861 Democratic 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 Democratic 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 Democratic South Bend, Indiana [c]
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 Democratic Winchester, Indiana
21 John G. Shanklin January 16, 1879 January 16, 1881 Democratic 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 Democratic Anderson, Indiana
24 Charles F. Griffin January 16, 1887 January 16, 1891 Republican Hammond, Indiana
25 Claude Matthews January 16, 1891 January 9, 1893 Democratic Vermillion County, Indiana [b][d]
26 Myron D. King January 9, 1893 January 17, 1893 Democratic Covington, Indiana
27 William R. Myers January 17, 1893 January 17, 1895 Democratic 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 [b]
31 Fred A. Sims April 1, 1906 November 27, 1910 Republican Indianapolis, Indiana
32 L. G. Ellingham November 27, 1910 November 27, 1914 Democratic Decatur, Indiana
33 Homer L. Cook November 27, 1914 November 27, 1916 Democratic Indianapolis, Indiana
34 Edward L. Jackson November 27, 1916 November 21, 1917 Republican Indianapolis, Indiana [b][d]
35 William A. Roach November 22, 1917 January 17, 1920 Republican Delphi, Indiana [c][13]
36 Edward L. Jackson January 22, 1920 November 27, 1924 Republican Indianapolis, Indiana [d]
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 Democratic South Bend, Indiana
40 August G. Mueller December 1, 1934 December 1, 1938 Democratic Indianapolis, Indiana
41 James M. Tucker December 1, 1938 July 25, 1942 Republican Paoli, Indiana [b]
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 Democratic 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 Democratic 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 Democratic Indianapolis, Indiana
52 Edgar Whitcomb December 1, 1966 December 1, 1968 Republican Seymour, Indiana [d]
53 William N. Salin December 1, 1968 December 1, 1970 Republican Fort Wayne, Indiana
54 Larry Conrad December 1, 1970 December 1, 1978 Democratic Muncie, Indiana
55 Edwin Simcox December 1, 1978 December 1, 1986 Republican Indianapolis, Indiana
56 Evan Bayh December 1, 1986 January 9, 1989 Democratic Evansville, Indiana [d]
57 Joe Hogsett January 9, 1989 December 1, 1994 Democratic 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, 2012 March 16, 2012 Republican Indianapolis, Indiana [e]
61 Connie Lawson March 16, 2012 March 16, 2021 Republican Danville, Indiana [14]
62 Holli Sullivan March 16, 2021 Republican Evansville, Indiana [15]

See also


  1. ^ Served as acting-governor of Indiana Territory from December 28, 1812–March 3, 1813
  2. ^ a b c d e Resigned from office
  3. ^ a b Died in office
  4. ^ a b c d e Served as Governor of Indiana
  5. ^ Served on an interim basis after the expulsion of White from office


  1. ^ "Secretary of State Connie Lawson submits resignation". WISHTV. Retrieved 15 February 2021.
  2. ^ "Holli Sullivan replaces Connie Lawson as Indiana secretary of state". WTHR. Retrieved 16 March 2021.
  3. ^ a b
  4. ^ Indiana Chamber, p. 14
  5. ^ Shella, Jim. Charlie White could damage GOP more than you think. WISH-TV, 2011-03-11.
  6. ^ Ind. Code 3-6-3.7-1
  7. ^ Ind. Code 3-6-4.2
  8. ^ Ind. Code 3-6-4.1
  9. ^ Ind. Code 3-12-10
  10. ^ Ind. Code 33-42-2-1(c)
  11. ^ Ind. Code 23-19-6-1
  12. ^ Indiana Code, p. 16
  13. ^ 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)
  14. ^ Mary Beth Schneider (March 15, 2012). "Gov. Mitch Daniels picks Connie Lawson as new Indiana Secretary of State". Indianapolis Star. Retrieved March 15, 2012.
  15. ^ John T. Martin and Thomas B. Langhorne (March 16, 2021). "Holli Sullivan of Evansville named new Indiana Secretary of State". Courier & Press. Retrieved March 16, 2021.


External links

This page was last edited on 29 April 2021, at 02:24
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