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DEPARTMENT OVERVIEW

Strategic Plan

Strategic Plan for Fiscal Years 2021-2025
Supporting Document for Strategic Plan for Fiscal Years 2021-2025
Strategic Plan for Fiscal Years 2018-2022
Supporting Document for Strategic Plan for Fiscal Years 2018-2022

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.

One of the most important charges of the Secretary of State’s Office is to conduct the state’s elections. Elections are the cornerstone of our democracy, and the integrity of the vote is of the utmost importance. As chief elections officer, the secretary of state is responsible for qualifying candidates, overseeing the election and tabulating and verifying the results.

Working in tandem with the Elections Division is the Commissions Division. The Division prepares commissions for elected and appointed officials; records oaths of office; and accepts and processes notices of retirement or resignation except for members of the Legislature. Commissions also provides apostilles for the certification of documents for international use as a member of the Hague Convention.

Another major function of the office is in our Commercial Division. 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 come from the individual agencies, but geauxBIZ is a clearinghouse for regulatory information.

Also under the umbrella of the Commercial Division is Notary. Residents of Louisiana who would like to become a notary public start the process with the Secretary of State’s Office. Upon qualification, registrants will take a pre-assessment followed by an exam administered by staff at Louisiana State University. After passing the exam and upon commission, notaries public are required to file bonds and annual reports with our office to remain in good standing.

One of the more traditional roles, the secretary of state is the official keeper of the state seal, as well as many other important documents. The Louisiana State Archives, which opened in 1987, is the official repository for those documents, and it holds many irreplaceable treasures. In addition, the staff of the State Archives has taken steps to preserve and catalog priceless film and tape recordings of important people and historical events for the education of generations of Louisianians to come.

The secretary of state is also responsible for the operation of 10 museums throughout the state including the Delta Music Museum in Ferriday; the Eddie G. Robinson Museum in Grambling; the Germantown Colony Museum in Minden; the Louisiana Military Hall of Fame and Museum in Abbeville; the Louisiana State Cotton Museum in Lake Providence; the Louisiana State Exhibit Museum in Shreveport; the Louisiana State Oil and Gas Museum in Oil City; Louisiana's Old State Capitol in Baton Rouge; the Mansfield Female College Museum in Mansfield; and the Tioga Heritage Park and Museum in Pineville. Louisiana’s Old State Capitol is accredited by the American Association of Museums, and the Louisiana State Exhibit Museum is a Smithsonian affiliate.