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Elected secretary of state pitched in House

Florida capitol building
Florida capitol building

State Rep. Gayle Harrell, R-Stuart, filed a proposal Tuesday that would lead to voters electing the secretary of state and making the position part of the Florida Cabinet.

Harrell filed the measure (HJR 811) days after Sen. Aaron Bean, R-Fernandina Beach, proposed an identical measure (SJR 882) that seeks to put a constitutional amendment on the issue before voters in November 2018.

If the proposal is approved, the governor would appoint a secretary of state to serve on the Cabinet from June 1, 2019, through Jan. 3, 2023.

Voters would begin to elect a secretary of state in November 2022, with the first elected secretary of state taking office in January 2023.

Florida in the past had an elected secretary of state, but the position became appointed in 2003 after voters approved a Cabinet reorganization.