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Secretary of State of Kentucky

The secretary of state of Kentucky is one of the constitutional officers of the U.S. state of Kentucky. It is now an elected office, but was an appointed office prior to 1891. The current secretary of state is Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes, who was elected to her first term on November 8, 2011; she took office on January 2, 2012 and was reelected on November 3, 2015.

Secretary of State of Kentucky
Seal of Kentucky.svg
Alison Lundergan Grimes by Gage Skidmore.jpg
Alison Lundergan Grimes

since January 2, 2012
Term length4 years
Inaugural holderJames Brown
June 5, 1792
FormationKentucky Constitution

History and name of positionEdit

Despite the fact that Kentucky designates itself a commonwealth, the office itself is still referred to as "Secretary of State" (unlike Virginia, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania, which refer to the office as "Secretary of the Commonwealth"). The office was created by Article II, Section 17 of the Kentucky Constitution of 1792 simply as "the secretary". Article III, Section 21, of the Kentucky Constitution of 1850 changed the title of the office to Secretary of State.

Section 91 of the Kentucky Constitution of 1891 (the most recent state constitution), changed the method by which the secretary of state is selected. Prior to 1891, the secretary was appointed by the governor; under the present Constitution, the secretary of state is elected by the qualified voters of the state. The most recent election was in 2015. In 1992, the Constitution was amended to allow the secretary of state to serve two successive terms.[2][3]

Emma Guy Cromwell ran for the office of Secretary of State, defeating another woman, Mary Elliott Flanery, and two men in the 1923 Democratic primary. In the general election, Cromwell went on to defeat her Republican opponent, Eleanor Wickliffe. She was sworn in on January 10, 1924 and became the first woman elected to statewide office in Kentucky.[4]

Structure and duties of the officeEdit

The Secretary of State's Office is composed of five divisions:

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ " - Salary Search". August 4, 2018. Retrieved August 4, 2018.
  2. ^ Executive Branch of the Office of the Secretary of State--History of the office
  3. ^ Timeline of legal changes to the Office of Secretary of State
  4. ^ "Secretary of State: Emma Guy Cromwell". Kentucky Secretary of State. Frankfort, Kentucky: Commonwealth of Kentucky. Retrieved March 12, 2010.

External linksEdit