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SECRETARIES OF THE STATE

 

The Office of the Secretary of the State was established by the Fundamental Orders of Connecticut adopted in 1639. Edward Hopkins was chosen as the first Secretary. The duties and responsibilities of the office have grown substantially since that time paralleling the growth of governmental activities in Connecticut. Today, there are more than two hundred and fifty constitutional and statutory mandates affecting the office. The office consists of five divisions: Business Services, eRegulations, Information Technology, Legislation, and Elections Administration, Management and Support Services.

 

By virtue of the office, the Secretary of the State is the Commissioner of Elections. The office administers all state constitutional and statutory provisions and federal requirements relating to elections, primaries, nominating procedures, and the acquisition and exercise of voting rights. The Secretary is responsible for the issuance, receipt, tabulation, and approval or disapproval of nominating petitions for all elective offices to be filled; lists of nominations; certificates of party endorsement and of primary eligibility; absentee ballots and sample ballot labels; the preparation and distribution of absentee voting forms; the sending of written opinions and the answering of telephone inquiries on questions of election law; the prescribing of the forms, guides, and pamphlets for the admission and enrollment of electors; the nomination of candidates and the conduct of municipal, state, and federal elections and primaries in Connecticut. The Secretary of the State conducts conferences for local election officials, the Town Clerks, and Registrars of Voters. The office trains moderators and certifies their eligibility.

 

The Secretary of the State is keeper of the Seal of the State and is charged with the custody of a wide range of public documents and formal records of the State, among the more important of which are the Acts, Resolutions, and Orders of the General Assembly. The Secretary provides certified copies of official records and affixes the Seal to all commissions issued by the State. The Secretary calls the Senate to order and administers the official oath on the first day of the session in the odd-numbered years. The Secretary also approves use of the State Seal and State Arms in accordance with state law.

Under the provisions of the General Statutes, the Secretary is responsible for the administration of many aspects of the state's corporation, limited liability company, limited partnership, limited liability partnership, statutory trust, and trade and service mark laws, including the approval of all certificates of incorporation, organization, registration, merger, dissolution, and annual reports; and for providing copies of and information from documents on file to the public, legal, and business communities, over the telephone, by mail, through in person inspections, and via the Internet.

The Secretary of the State receives and files documents concerning certain commercial transactions as provided under Article 9 of the Uniform Commercial Code.

Notaries Public are appointed at the discretion of the Secretary of the State. The Secretary also publishes the Connecticut Notary Public Manual.

Other duties of the Secretary include the registration of trading stamp companies; the filing of administrative regulations of state departments or agencies, the filing of updated compilations of ordinances and special acts of every city, town, and borough in the state; and the filing of annual schedules and notices of special meetings of all state departments and commissions of the executive branch.

By law, the Secretary of the State supervises the publication of the Connecticut State Register and Manual, the Statement of Vote, the Public Acts from Passage, and individual volumes devoted to the Election Laws, Moderator's Handbook, Procedure Manual for Counting Absentee Ballots, and Recanvass Manual.

The Office of the Secretary of the State is a revenue-producing agency. These revenues are derived from business filings and franchise fees, notary public fees, uniform commercial code fees, and from sales of publications and services.

The Secretary of the State is a member of the State Board of Canvassers.

Election to the Office of Secretary of the State is for a term of four years, at an annual salary of $110,000.

Secretary of the State Town and Party** Term of Service Years of Service
Edward Hopkins Hartford, O 1639-41 2 yrs.
Thomas Welles Hartford, O 1641-48 7 yrs.
John Cullick Hartford, O 1648-58 10 yrs.
Daniel Clark Windsor, O 1658-64, 65-67 8 yrs.
John Allyn Hartford, O 1664-65, 67-96 30 yrs.
Eleazer Kimberly Glastonbury, O 1696-1709 13 yrs.
William Whiting Hartford, O 1709 3 m.
Caleb Stanly Hartford, O 1709-12 3 yrs.
Richard Lord Hartford, O 1712 17 d.
Hezekiah Wyllys Hartford, O 1712-35 23 yrs.
George Wyllys Hartford, O 1735-96 61 yrs.
Samuel Wyllys Hartford, O 1796-1810 14 yrs.
Thomas Day Hartford, O 1810-35 25 yrs.
Royal R. Hinman Southbury, O 1835-42 7 yrs.
Noah A. Phelps Hartford, O 1842-44 2 yrs.
Daniel P. Tyler Pomfret, O 1844-46 2 yrs.
Charles W. Bradley Hartford, O 1846-47 1 yr.
John B. Robertson New Haven, O 1847-49 2 yrs.
Roger H. Mills No. Hartford, O 1849-50 1 yr.
Hiram Weed1 Danbury, D 1850 1 m.
John P. C. Mather New London, D 1850-54 3 yrs. 11 m.
Oliver H. Perry Fairfield, W 1854-55 1 yr.
Nehemiah D. Sperry New Haven, A 1855-57 2 yrs.
Orville H. Platt Meriden, AR 1857-58 1 yr.
John Boyd Winchester, R 1858-61 3 yrs.
J. H. Trumbull Hartford, R 1861-66 5 yrs.
Leverett E. Pease Somers, U 1866-69 3 yrs.
Hiram Appleman Groton, R 1869-70 1 yr.
Thomas M. Waller New London, D 1870-71 1 yr.
Hiram Appleman2 Groton, R 1871-73 2 yrs.
D. W. Edgecomb Fairfield, R 1873 12 d.
Marvin H. Sanger Canterbury, D 1873-77 4 yrs.
Dwight Morris Bridgeport, D 1877-79 2 yrs.
David Torrance Derby, R 1879-81 2 yrs.
Charles E. Searls Thompson, R 1881-83 2 yrs.
D. Ward Northrop Middletown, D 1883-85 2 yrs.
Charles A. Russell Killingly, R 1885-87 2 yrs.
Leverett M. Hubbard Wallingford, R 1887-89 2 yrs.
R. Jay Walsh Greenwich, R 1889-93 4 yrs.
John J. Phelan Bridgeport, D 1893-95 2 yrs.
William C. Mowry Norwich, R 1895-97 2 yrs.
Charles Phelps Rockville, R 1897-99 2 yrs.
Huber Clark Willimantic, R 1899-1901 2 yrs.
Charles G. R. Vinal Middletown, R 1901-05 4 yrs.
Theodore Bodenwein New London, R 1905-09 4 yrs.
Matthew H. Rogers Bridgeport, R 1909-13 4 yrs.
Albert Phillips Stamford, D 1913-15 2 yrs.
Charles D. Burnes Greenwich, R 1915-17 2 yrs.
Frederick L. Perry New Haven, R 1917-21 4 yrs.
Donald J. Warner Salisbury, R 1921-23 2 yrs.
Francis A. Pallotti Hartford, R 1923-29 6 yrs.
William L. Higgins Coventry, R 1929-33 4 yrs.
John A. Danaher Hartford, R 1933-35 2 yrs.
C. John Satti New London, D 1935-39 4 yrs.
Sara B. Crawford Westport, R 1939-41 2 yrs.
Chase G. Woodhouse New London, D 1941-43 2 yrs.
Frances B. Redick Newington, R 1943-45 2 yrs.
Charles J. Prestia New Britain, D 1945-47 2 yrs.
Frances B. Redick Newington, R 1947-49 2 yrs.
Winifred McDonald Waterbury, D 1949-51 2 yrs.
Alice K. Leopold3 Weston, R 1951-53 2 yrs. 10 m. 27 d.
Charles B. Keats4 Bridgeport, R 1953-55 1 yr. 1 m. 4 d.
Mildred P. Allen Hartford, R 1955-59 4 yrs.
Ella T. Grasso Windsor Locks, D 1959-71 12 yrs.
Gloria Schaffer5 Woodbridge, D 1971-78 7 yrs. 8 m. 19 d.
Henry S. Cohn6 West Hartford, D 1978-79 3 m. 9 d.
Barbara B. Kennelly7 Hartford, D 1979-82 3 yrs. 22 d.
Maura L. Melley8 Wethersfield, D 1982-83 11 m. 8 d.
Julia H. Tashjian Windsor, D 1983-91 8 yrs.
Pauline R. Kezer Plainville, R 1991-95 4 yrs.
Miles S. Rapoport West Hartford, D 1995-99 4 yrs.
Susan Bysiewicz Middletown, D 1999-2011 12 yrs.
Denise W. Merrill Mansfield, D 2011-

**Town listed is town of residence at time of election.
1Died in office, June 7, 1850 and John P. C. Mather was appointed by the General Assembly, June 21, 1850 to fill the vacancy.
2Resigned April 25, 1873 and D. W. Edgecomb was appointed to the vacancy by Governor Jewell.
3Resigned November 30, 1953 to become Director of Women's Bureau, U.S. Labor Dept.
4Appointed December 1, 1953 by Governor John Lodge to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of Alice K. Leopold.
5Resigned September 25, 1978 to become a member of the Federal Civil Aeronautics Board.
6Appointed Secretary of the State by Governor Ella T. Grasso effective September 25, 1978 to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of Gloria Schaffer.
7Resigned January 25, 1982. Elected to the 97th Congress on January 12, 1982 to fill the vacancy caused by the death of William R. Cotter.
8Appointed Secretary of the State by Governor William A. O'Neill effective January 29, 1982 to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of Barbara B. Kennelly.