In several countries, Secretary of State is a senior government position. The role varies between countries, and in some cases there are multiple Secretaries of State in the government. To see what the person in this position does in various countries, see the wikipedia article on the subject.
States of the United States[edit | edit source]
In each of the individual states of the United States, the Secretary of State is an administrative officer responsible for a variety of governmental functions, depending on the constitution and laws of the particular state.
The most common, and arguably the most important, function held by Secretaries of State is to serve as the state’s chief elections official. In 38 states, ultimate responsibility for the conduct of elections, including the enforcement of qualifying rules, oversight of finance regulation, establishment of actual election-day procedures, falls on the Secretary of State.
In three states (Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and Virginia), the position is called Secretary of the Commonwealth. For more detail see Secretary of State (U.S. state government). In the states of Alaska, Hawaii, and Utah, there is no Secretary of State but many duties that a Secretary of State might normally execute fall within the domain of the Lieutenant Governor.