Administrative History

Between 1777 and 1822 the Council of Appointment (governor and four senators chosen by the Assembly) appointed individuals to almost all non-elective offices throughout the state. After the ratification of the 1821 constitution in 1822, the council was abolished and starting in 1823 its appointive powers were vested in the governor, whose nominations had to be confirmed by the Senate. Under the constitution of 1846, many more offices, both state and county, were made elective, including almost all judges. The constitution of 1894 reversed the trend, reducing the number of elective offices on the state level.

The abstracts of appointments by the Council of Appointment were filed in the secretary of state's office pursuant to Chapter 12 of the Laws of 1778, which named the secretary of state the clerk of the Council of Appointment. Under the constitution of 1821, appointments of "civil officers" by the governor with the advice and consent of the Senate were to be recorded by the secretary of state pursuant to the Revised Statutes (1829), Part I, Chap. 5, Art. 2, sect. 14. This requirement was continued by Laws of 1883, Chap. 285, Laws of 1892, Chap. 681 (Public Officers Law), and the Consolidated Laws of 1909, Chap. 51 (Public Officers Law, sect. 7). The secretary of state was required to record the names of county officers by Laws of 1896, Chap. 909 (Election Law), and the Consolidated Laws of 1909, Chap. 22 (Election Law, sect. 444).