Secretary of State of Alabama

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Secretary of State of Alabama
John Merrill (cropped).jpg
John Merrill

since November 2014
TypeSecretary of State
Term length4 years
Constituting instrumentSections 114, 118, 132, and 134 of the Alabama Constitution and throughout The Code of Alabama
First holderHenry Hitchcock
Website"Official Homepage of the Alabama Secretary of State". Alabama Secretary of State. 15 Oct 2009. Retrieved 15 Oct 2009.

The Secretary of State of Alabama is one of the constitutional officers of the U.S. state of Alabama. The office actually predates the statehood of Alabama, dating back to the Alabama Territory.[1] From 1819 to 1901,[1] the Secretary of State served a two-year term until the State Constitution was changed to set the term to four years. Up until 1868 the Secretary of State was elected by the Alabama Legislature, but is now popularly elected.[1] The terms and over 1,000 duties of the office are defined by Sections 114, 118, 132, and 134 of the Alabama Constitution and throughout the Code of Alabama.[2]

The Secretary of State must be at least 25 years old, a U.S. citizen for at least seven years, an Alabama state resident for at least five years, and a registered voter. The secretary of state and governor are on the same election cycle, and may only serve two consecutive terms; to hold the office for more terms, the office must be vacated for at least one term. The governor may appoint a replacement secretary of state in the case of resignation or death.


The Secretary of State's Office is organized as follows:

  • The Executive Division administers the day-to-day operations of the Secretary of State's Office and also maintains the notaries public database and Civil Law Notaries.
  • The Business Services Division of the Secretary of State's office is divided into two sections: Business Entities, which operates as a depository for records of domestic entities and foreign entities that have qualified to transact business in Alabama, and Uniform Commercial Code (UCC), which operates a filing and retrieval center for UCC financing statements at the state level.
  • The Elections Division administers elections and campaign finance laws, including the preparation of ballots and implementation of state and federal election laws (such as the Help America Vote Act).
  • The Government Support/Authentications & Trademarks Division maintains the distribution of the Acts of Alabama, preserves the use of the state seal, licenses Athlete Agents, oversees trademarking, and authenticates documents with either an apostille or certification.
  • The Government Records Section is responsible for maintenance of legislative and other government records, including land titles. The state holds land titles going back to the date of statehood.
  • The Finance Division works with the Executive Division to discuss budgets and handle transactions with state vendors.
  • The Information Technology (IT) Division maintains the office's network security and runs the live Elections Night Reporting system during Alabama elections.

The Alabama Secretary of State's website also contains a public organizational chart that features a more in-depth depiction of each division and the titles of each staff member therein.


The current Secretary of State is Republican John Merrill of Tuscaloosa County. Merrill was elected Secretary of State in November, 2014 after previously serving one term in the Alabama House of Representatives (2010–2014). Mr. Merrill took office on January 19, 2015 succeeding Jim Bennett who was appointed in 2013 following the resignation of his predecessor Beth Chapman, who held the post from 2007 to 2013. From 1944–1979 the office was held by five different women the first of which was Sybil Pool. Agnes Baggett was the longest serving Secretary of State, having been elected to three non-consecutive terms.

The parties are as follows:   Democratic (D) and   Republican (R), or   Party Not Known.

Alabama secretaries of state
# Name Term Party
1 Henry Hitchcock 1818–1819
2 Thomas A. Rodgers 1819–1821
3 James J. Pleasants 1821–1824
4 James I. Thornton 1824–1834
5 Edmund A. Webster 1834–1836
6 Thomas B. Tunstall 1836–1840
7 William Garrett 1840–1852 Democrat
8 Vincent M. Benham 1852–1856 Democrat
9 James H. Weaver 1856–1860
10 Patrick Henry Brittan 1860–1865 Democrat
11 Albert Stanhope Elmore1 1865
12 David D. Dalton 1865–1867 Democrat
13 Micah Taul 1867–1868 Democrat
14 Charles A. Miller 1868–1870 Republican
15 Jabez J. Parker 1870–1872 Democrat
16 Patrick Ragland 1872–1873 Republican
17 Neander H. Rice 1873–1874 Republican
18 Rufus King Boyd 1874–1878 Democrat
19 William W. Screws 1878–1882 Democrat
20 Ellis Phelan 1882–1885 Democrat
21 Charles C. Langdon 1885–1890 Democrat
22 Joseph D. Barron 1890–1894 Democrat
23 James K. Jackson 1894–1898 Democrat
24 Robert P. McDavid 1898–1903 Democrat
25 James Thomas Heflin 1903–1904 Democrat
26 Edmund R. McDavid 1904–1907 Democrat
27 Frank N. Julian 1907–1910 Democrat
28 Cyrus B. Brown 1910–1915 Democrat
29 John Purifoy 1915–1919 Democrat
30 William Peyton Cobb 1919–1923 Democrat
31 Sidney Herbert Blan 1923–1927 Democrat
32 John Marvin Brandon 1927–1931 Democrat
33 Pete Jarman 1931–1935 Democrat
34 David Howell Turner 1935–1939 Democrat
35 John Marvin Brandon 1939–1943 Democrat
36 David Howell Turner 1943–1944 Democrat
37 Sibyl Pool 1944–1951 Democrat
38 Agnes Baggett 1951–1955 Democrat
39 Mary Texas Hurt Garner 1955–1959 Democrat
40 Bettye Frink 1959–1963 Democrat
41 Agnes Baggett 1963–1967 Democrat
42 Mabel Sanders Amos 1967–1975 Democrat
43 Agnes Baggett 1975–1979 Democrat
44 Don Siegelman 1979–1987 Democrat
45 Glen Browder 1987–1989 Democrat
46 Fred Crawford 1989–1989 Republican
47 Perry Hand 1989–1991 Republican
48 Billy Joe Camp 1991–1993 Democrat
49 Jim Bennett 1993–1998 Democrat
49 Jim Bennett2 1998–2003 Republican
50 Nancy Worley 2003–2007 Democratic
51 Beth Chapman 2007–2013 Republican
52 Jim Bennett 2013–2015 Republican
53 John Merrill 2015–present Republican

Notes: 1. First native-born Alabamian to serve as Secretary of State.

2. Switched to Republican Party in 1998.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Official Homepage of the Alabama Secretary of State". Alabama Secretary of State. 15 Oct 2009. Retrieved 15 Oct 2009.
  2. ^ Code of Alabama 1975. The Alabama Legislature. Retrieved November 3, 2020.

External links[edit]