The Secretary of State's Office will be closed on Monday, Sept. 1 in observance of Labor Day and will re-open on Tuesday, Sept. 2.
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DEPARTMENT OVERVIEW

Strategic Plan

Strategic Plan for Fiscal Years 2015-2019
Supporting Document for Strategic Plan for Fiscal Years 2015-2019
Strategic Plan for Fiscal Years 2012-2016
Supporting Document for Strategic Plan for Fiscal Years 2012-2016

Duties

The Louisiana Constitution has the following provision Article 4, Section 7 that provides for the Office of Secretary of State:

§7. Secretary of State; Powers and Duties Section 7. There shall be a Department of State. The secretary of state shall head the department and shall be the chief election officer of the state. He shall prepare and certify the ballots for all elections, promulgate all election returns, and administer the election laws, except those relating to voter registration and custody of voting machines. He shall administer the state corporation and trademark laws; serve as keeper of the Great Seal of the State of Louisiana and attest therewith all official laws, documents, proclamations, and commissions; administer and preserve the official archives of the state; promulgate and publish all laws enacted by the legislature and retain the originals thereof; and countersign and keep an official registry of all commissions. He may administer oaths, and shall have other powers and perform other duties authorized by this constitution or provided by law.

It is well-known that the secretary of state is the official keeper of the Great Seal of the State of Louisiana. While that's one of the traditional roles of the secretary of state, under recent leadership this office also has become the home of several innovative programs.

From the Uniform Commercial Code to GeauxBiz, the secretary of state is committed to providing programs that help the state's citizens better understand and take advantage of the services available to them.

GeauxBiz is a perfect example of streamlining a process to help the consumer—in this case, business owners. GeauxBiz gives current and potential business owners a single place to go for all the necessary information to operate within the state. Approval for all licenses and permits still comes from the individual agencies, but GeauxBiz is a clearinghouse for regulatory information.

Another move toward increased efficiency has been the creation of the Commercial Division, consisting of the Corporations/Trademarks/ Partnerships Section the Uniform Commercial Code Section and the Administrative Services Section. The creation of new services and the consolidation of the previously separate groups make possible the coordination and oversight of various services affecting businesses.

The Uniform Commercial Code may not have made many headlines when it was implemented in 1990, but people from across the nation have come to Louisiana to look at this innovative program. In the U.C.C. Program, all of the parish clerks of court are linked to the secretary of state's office by computer. This allows the secretary of state to coordinate and manage the processing of filings -- no matter where the papers are filed. This program is one of the first of its kind in the country and is considered to be on the cutting edge of technology.

Direct Access is another ambitious undertaking within the secretary of state's office. Since going online in 1995 it has enabled individuals and businesses with the computer capability to tap into the Secretary of State's Office for information on corporations, their respective boards and other data. Before 1995, callers had to go through an operator for information, but now with Direct Access they can access the database on their own.

Elections touch the lives of literally every person in our state. As chief elections officer, the secretary of state is responsible for qualifying certain candidates, overseeing the election, and tabulating and verifying the results. The state wide election in 1991 was the first completely automated election held in this state.

The secretary of state is the official keeper of the state seal, as well as many other important documents. As the state's archivist, this office is responsible for the care and storage of many irreplaceable treasures. The State Archives Building, located on Essen Lane in Baton Rouge, opened in 1987 and provides a home for the state's growing archival collection. Many people think of files and papers when they think of archives, but the secretary of state has taken steps to preserve and catalog priceless film and tape recordings of important people and historical events. This office has instituted an oral history project in which the memories of people, from prominent former elected officials to rank-and-file citizens, are being preserved.

The secretary of state is also responsible for the operation of museums throughout the state including: Chennault Aviation and Military Museum in Monroe, Delta Music Museum in Ferriday, Eddie G. Robinson Museum in Grambling, Germantown Colony Museum in Minden, Jean Lafitte Marine Fisheries Museum in Jean Lafitte, Louisiana Military Hall of Fame and Museum in Abbeville, Louisiana Military Museum in Ruston, Louisiana State Cotton Museum in Lake Providence, Louisiana State Exhibit Museum in Shreveport, Louisiana State Oil and Gas Museum in Oil City, Louisiana's Old State Capitol in Baton Rouge, Mansfield Female College Museum in Mansfield, Old Arsenal Museum in Baton Rouge, Shreveport Water Works Museum in Shreveport, Spring Street Historical Museum in Shreveport and Tioga Heritage Park and Museum in Pineville.

From acting as the keeper of the state's most precious memorabilia to overseeing elections and corporate filings, the Secretary of State's Office provides a large range of valuable services.

NOTE: The secretary of state is a statewide elected position. Candidates must be over the age of 25, be a registered voter and a resident of the United States and Louisiana for the preceding five years. See details in Qualifications of Candidates.