As an elected constitutional officer, the Secretary of State must meet the same general qualifications for office as the Attorney General, Treasurer, Auditor, and Commissioner of Agriculture. The candidate must be 30 years of age and must have lived in Kentucky two years preceding their election. The Secretary of State is elected, along with other state officials, on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November each four years for a four-year term and is eligible to serve two consecutive terms.
The Secretary of State directs the Department of State of the Commonwealth of Kentucky pursuant to KRS 14.025. The department is organized into two divisions: The Division of Corporations and The Division of Administration.
||Division of Corporations
The Division of Corporations is divided into three departments: Business Filings, Business Records, and the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) Branch. Business Filings is responsible for administering the incorporation of businesses, both domestic and foreign, profit and nonprofit, including the administration of documents of merger, dissolution, name changes, and certain stock matters. This office is entrusted with filing, maintaining, and preserving certain historically significant documents and public records of the Commonwealth. These records include organizational documents for more than 100,000 corporations doing business in Kentucky and trademarks and service marks.
In addition, the Secretary of State represents the Commonwealth as agent for service of process in cases involving foreign corporations, as well as service of summons and petitions in actions against non-resident motorists.
Business Records is responsible for issuing certificates of existence, authorization, and certified copies of the original document that is on file with the Secretary of State. The UCC Branch was created after legislation was passed during the 2000 General Assembly which adopted Revised Article 9 of the Uniform Commercial Code.
||Division of Administration
The Division of Administration is responsible for fiscal and personnel matters, public documents, legal affairs, and special projects and commissions.
The State Land Office is also under the supervision of the Secretary of State and is the place of record for all land grants, warrants, surveys, and other similar transactions.
The Secretary of State is designated by KRS 117.015 as the chief Election Officer of the Commonwealth and as such is chairman of the State Board of Elections. As Chairman of the State Board of Elections, the Secretary is responsible, along with members of the state board, for maintaining a complete roster of all qualified registered voters within the state by county and precinct; for furnishing each county clerk with a master list of all registered voters in the county; and for maintaining all information furnished to the state board regarding the inclusion or deletion of names from the voting roster. State laws designate the Secretary of State as the leading advocate for increased voter education, registration, and participation in elections.
The Secretary of State is the filing official for candidates seeking statewide office or an office to be voted for by the electors of more than one county; for members of Congress; members of the General Assembly and for all judicial candidates.
The number of votes received by each of these candidates and the total number of votes cast for and against any proposed constitutional amendments are certified by the county board of elections to the Secretary of State, who delivers the totals to the State Board of Elections.
The Secretary of State appoints notaries public, and in cooperation with the Office of the Governor, issues Kentucky Colonel Commissions.
In addition, the Secretary of State is the keeper of the Seal of the Commonwealth of Kentucky and maintains records of all official acts of the Governor as well as all legislation passed by the General Assembly.