- Click here for the article.
Presidential campaign years are a busy time for secretaries of state, as they’re preoccupied with getting voters registered, working out ballot logistics, and counting and recounting votes. And this year, a number of secretaries of state also have their own elections to worry about.
In 2016, eight secretaries of state will be chosen directly by voters. In virtually all of these races, the incumbent party is expected to face a competitive primary and/or a competitive general election contest.
Currently, the GOP holds 28 secretary of state offices, and the Democrats hold 22. (That includes the handful of states where the lieutenant governor handles the role of secretary of state.)
Of these offices, most -- but not all -- are directly elected by the voters. Of the 39 elected positions, the Republicans currently dominate, with 23 seats to the Democrats’ 16. The parties split the appointed offices, 4-4, while the Democrats lead 2-1 in states where the legislature chooses the secretary of state.
Secretaries of state can wield significant authority over the details of elections, making them of vital importance to both parties. Some secretaries, such as Kansas Republican Kris Kobach, have used the office to advance an aggressive push for ballot security, or what critics deride as voter suppression.
- The Troubling Partisanization of Elections for Secretary of State.