Note to News People

I’m listening to the Karen Handel interview on AM940 in Macon. As usual, they are focusing on elections.

Just a reminder to news people — the Secretary of State does more than just elections. Corporations, securities, professional licenses — the office is bigger than elections and, frankly, some of the other divisions are just as important.

Speaking as a corporate lawyer, I’d like to know what will be done to make the office more efficient in that area. Will Articles of Incorporation or Organization be available for download as PDFs?


  1. Garyb says:

    As a former Board of Elections member, the primary duty of the Secretary of State is to conduct fair and effiecient elections and count the votes that are cast. Pundits and talk show hosts each election year lament the low turnout and look to elected officials such as the Secretary of State to increase turnout. This is not the job of the Secretary of State, as I said in a previous sentence their job is to administer the election process and count votes. The job of driving turnout is the responsibility of the candidates in the respective races. If candidates create interest in their races then turnout will follow. In terms of educating young people as to their franchise, this is the job of parents and educators.

  2. Erick says:

    the primary duty of the Secretary of State is to conduct fair and effiecient elections

    Not to nitpick, but according to the constitutional and statutory provisions defining the duties of the Secretary of State, they are, in order:

    (1) To keep the great seal of the state, which seal was adopted August 17, 1914, and is now on deposit in the office of the Secretary of State;

    (2) To keep the original Acts passed by the General Assembly and all the public records of the state not appertaining especially to other offices; to look to and preserve the records and papers belonging to the Senate and the House of Representatives; and to see that the original journals of both houses are deposited and kept in his office;

    (3) To attest all grants and other public documents issuing from the Governor and requiring the great seal of the state;

    (4) To keep a record of all grants issued by the state;

    (5) To keep safely all bonds of agents appointed to disburse public money;

    (6) To furnish to all applicants, upon the payment of the prescribed fees, copies of all records and public documents within his office and to attach the great seal of the state to such transcripts as the Governor or General Assembly may direct;

    (7) To destroy, quadrennially, all election returns of those officials whose terms of office have expired, which returns are on file in his office;

    (8) To keep a book showing the dates when commissions were issued for all civil and military officers;

    (9) To keep safely all the records of plats of land granted and to report the condition of such records to the Governor at least once a year;

    (10) To keep in his office correct maps of all the different surveys (made by state authority), and maps of surveys comprising the land lotteries, showing their division into numbers, districts, sections, and the like, with a separate map for every district;

    (11) To keep a register of the various grantees and the dates of the grants;

    (12) To keep correct maps of all surveys of rivers, harbors, swamps, or land, which surveys were made by the special direction of the General Assembly;

    (13) When necessary, to contract for the execution of new maps or the reexecution or repair of old maps, subject to the ratification of the General Assembly;

    (14) To certify under his official seal, as the Comptroller General is directed to do;

    (15) To print and distribute current maps describing the boundaries of congressional districts and the legislative districts of members of the Georgia Senate and House of Representatives; and

    (16) To perform all other duties which are required of him by law or which necessarily attach to his office.
Laws 1783, Cobb’s 1851 Digest, p. 665; Laws 1799, Cobb’s 1851 Digest, p. 959; Laws 1838, Cobb’s 1851 Digest, p. 1030; Laws 1861, p. 72, § 1; Laws 1865- 66, p. 249, § 1; Laws 1878-79, p. 434; Laws 1914, p. 1247; Laws 1945, p. 402, § 2; Laws 1946, p. 75, §§ 2, 3; Laws 1964, Ex. Sess., p. 26, § 1; Laws 1986, p. 1608, § 1.

    Elections, corporations, etc. come under Section 16 and are all equally important ancillary duties of the office.

  3. CobbGOPer says:

    They are of course important aspects, Erick. But you know as well as anyone else that when you’re doing an interview, chances are you’re going to have to talk about what the interviewer wants to talk about. And the interviewer is always going to want to talk about whatever seems to be the more interesting, viewer-(or listener- or reader-)friendly topics. Election issues have been a concern in which people have expressed interest.

    If 1000 corporate lawyers call in wanting to talk about the corpration, securities, or licensing aspects of the job, great. They’ll talk about it. Otherwise, the issues that get the most play and the most feedback are election-related.

    But if you’d like to know more about Karen or Bill’s ideas on topics other than election law and process, well, you know where their websites are…

  4. Bill Simon says:

    Anyone else pick-up the non-gender-neutrality of the description of a Secretary of State’s duties?

    To perform all other duties which are required of him by law or which necessarily attach to his office.

  5. memberg says:

    Countless resources are wasted updating statutes to include “or she/her/hers.” It’s obvious that gender references in statutes are now intended to be inclusive of males and females.

  6. Jeff Emanuel says:

    FWIW, proper English language usage is “him” for both male and dual-gendered references. “Her” or “she” is only correct for a specfic reference to a female — or a ship 😉

    (Wow, the English teacher genetics even annoy ME! ;-))

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