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Aaron Bean's Trying Again to Make Secretary of State an Elected Position

Should Florida's secretary of state be elected? Sen. Aaron Bean still thinks so.

Aaron Bean
For a fourth consecutive year, the Fernandina Beach Republican has introduced a bill (SJR 118) that would give voters a  chance to choose the secretary of state and put him/her on the Cabinet with the attorney general, agriculture commissioner and state chief financial officer. 

For those who may have forgotten, Florida had an elected secretary of state until 2003. In that year the position became appointed under a constitutional amendment that downsized the Cabinet from six to three members. The secretary of state has since been appointed by the governor. 

Proponents of an elected secretary of state have argued the move, in particular, would avoid conflicts of interest in election disputes. 

Former Senate President Don Gaetz, R-Niceville, tried without success earlier this year to get the Florida Constitution Revision Commission to put a similar proposal on the ballot. 

In 2017, Bean’s proposal cleared the Senate by an overwhelming 33-2 vote. But the House has never shown much of an interest in making the change. 

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