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Wisconsin Watch partners with Gigafact to produce fact briefs — bite-sized fact checks of trending claims. Read our methodology to learn how we check claims.


The Wisconsin Secretary of State’s responsibilities extend beyond serving on the Board of Commissioners of Public Lands and issuing certifications for documents to be recognized in foreign countries.

The position’s duties also include keeping records of the official acts of the governor and legislature, affixing the state seal to the governor’s official acts, administering responsibilities set forth in approximately 100 sections of Wisconsin statutes and filing oaths of office and deeds for state lands and buildings. 

The office, which pays $72,551 a year, has lost authority over time, including the ability to delay publishing laws for up to 10 days, which allowed for legal challenges. That was stripped from the office in 2013.

Doug LaFollette has been secretary of state since 1983 and won reelection in 2022 for another four-year term. LaFollette opposed a proposal for the position to absorb election-oversight responsibilities — a proposal made by Republicans in several swing states. 


Wisconsin State Legislature: Wisconsin Legislature: Secretary of state, duties

Wisconsin State Legislature: Wisconsin State Constitution: Article X, Section 7: Commissioners of public lands

Wisconsin Secretary of State: Office of The Secretary of State, Wisconsin

PBS Wisconsin: The race for Wisconsin secretary of state takes on higher stakes in 2022

Ballotpedia: Wisconsin secretary of state

Washington Post: How Trump-backed secretary of state candidates would change elections in the United States

Jacob Alabab-Moser joined as Wisconsin Watch’s fact checker in September 2022, as part of the effort by The Gigafact Project in partnership with different state-level news outlets to combat misinformation in the 2022 midterm elections. Jacob has several years of experience as a fact checker and research assistant at a variety of organizations, including at The Gigafact Project. He holds a BA from Brown University and is pursuing a MSc from the London School of Economics and Political Science.