88th LegislatureIssuesState SenateStatewide NewsTexas Senate Confirms Jane Nelson as Secretary of State

Former state senator Jane Nelson will become the 115th Secretary of State of Texas and the sixth to hold the position under Gov. Greg Abbott.
March 15, 2023
Former state senator Jane Nelson (R-Flower Mound) has officially been confirmed by the Senate as the 115th Secretary of State (SOS) of Texas.

“I am grateful to Governor Abbott for nominating me to serve as Secretary of State and will work every single day on behalf of the people of Texas,” said Nelson in a statement.

She had previously served 30 years in the Legislature and chose not to seek reelection last year. Nelson had been chair of the Senate Finance Committee that helped to facilitate the approval of the state budget, and was the longest serving chair of the Senate Health and Human Services Committee.

Nelson is now the sixth SOS to serve under Gov. Greg Abbott. Abbott made his announcement of Nelson’s appointment last December shortly after the previous secretary John Scott published his notice of resignation. Recent appointees have not fared well in their tenure, with Scott serving just over a year and his predecessor leaving office after a year and half, unable to get approval from the Senate.

Under the Constitution of Texas, the SOS is appointed by the governor and confirmed by the Senate. Their role is to be one of six members in the executive department, administering the Texas Election Code and maintaining uniform application and interpretation of election laws.

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The Texas election system is a “bottom-up” framework wherein the majority of voter-facing responsibilities fall on county clerks and election administrators. Texas has over 17.7 million registered voters, and upcoming elections in 2024 are sure to bring the focus back onto the SOS amid the growing concerns from the Legislature about how best to manage elections and vote security.

One of the first duties Nelson will address is the audit of elections in Cameron, Eastland, Guadalupe, and Harris counties. When the election legislation Senate Bill 1 passed last session, it enacted a randomized county audit that requires the SOS to investigate abnormalities and prevent voter fraud, which was prompted by reports of drive-thru voting stations and 24-hour voting in some counties in Texas.

“I will work to safeguard honest and accurate elections in all 254 counties across our great state, while continuing to support business owners by ensuring that the government moves at the speed of Texas business, not the other way around,” said Nelson.


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Cameron Abrams

Cameron Abrams is a reporter for The Texan. After graduating with a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Tabor College and a Master’s Degree from University of the Pacific, Cameron is finishing his doctoral studies where his research focuses on the postmodern philosophical influences in education. In his free time, you will find him listening to a podcast while training for an endurance running event.