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. From 1819 to 1901, 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. The terms and duties of the office are defined by Sections 114, 118, 132, and 134 of the Alabama Constitution.
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 current Secretary of State is Republican John Merrill of Tuscaloosa County. Mr. 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.
The parties are as follows: Democratic (D) and Republican (R), or Party Not Known.
Notes: 1. First native-born Alabamian to serve as Secretary of State.
2. Switched to Republican Party in 1998.