AUSTIN, Texas — The state's top election official is stepping down.
Texas Secretary of State John Scott announced Monday that he will resign from office at the end of the year to return to his private legal practice.
Gov. Greg Abbott appointed Scott as Secretary of State on Oct. 21, 2021, and he began serving one week later. He has presided over four major statewide elections in 2022 and also oversaw the forensic audit of the 2020 general election in Texas. Scott will release the findings of that audit before departing on Dec. 31.
"When I took office as Texas Secretary of State in October of last year, I did so with a singular goal and mission in mind: to help restore Texas voters' confidence in the security of our state's elections," Secretary Scott wrote in his resignation letter to Abbott.
Scott went on to write that he is "proud to say that Texas has made tremendous progress in restoring faith in our elections over the past year, and that the Texas Secretary of State's office has developed a successful framework for analyzing and transparently reporting on election security through the forensic election audit process."
The secretary of state is the chief election officer for Texas, assisting local election officials and ensuring election laws are followed uniformly. The Office of the Secretary of State also provides a repository for official business and commercial records required to be filed with the office, and the secretary publishes government rules and regulations and commissions notaries public. The secretary also serves as the keeper of the state seal and attester to the governor's signature on official documents.
In addition, the secretary serves as the senior advisor and liaison to the governor for "Texas Border and Mexican Affairs" and serves as the chief international protocol officer for Texas.
On Tuesday, Abbott announced his intention to appoint State Sen. Jane Nelson (R-Flower Mound) as the next Secretary of State.