I live in the United States and I recently discovered that each state has a Secretary of State. Since the Secretary of State on the federal level deals with foreign affairs, I wasn't sure what the Secretary of State of a state would do. Does a state's Secretary of State manage relations with other states in the US? Or do they actually engage with talks with foreign nations?
In virtually every state, the Secretary of State is the person responsible for elections and recordkeeping (i.e recording and publishing state laws, keeping vehicle and business registrations, etc). Here is the description for California's
The California Secretary of State is an elected state executive officer established by the California Constitution. He or she serves as the state's chief election officer, keeps the state's key documents including the constitution and Great Seal, and keeps the state archives. Additionally, the secretary of state registers businesses in the state, commissions notaries public and manages state ballot initiatives.
Some states also allocate other duties to their Secretary. New York has their Secretary in charge of business development
Established in 1778, the Department of State is the oldest and perhaps most diverse Department in New York State government. Long known as the “keeper of records,” it continues today to serve as the official compiler of state agency rules and regulations and publisher of information on the State Constitution, the Great Seal of New York and other official state documents. But, today, the Department has been re-imagined in the Cuomo Administration as a vehicle to help reinvigorate the State’s economy and make our communities more livable.
The Logan Act officially prohibits any state level official from acting on behalf of the United States diplomatically
The Logan Act (1 Stat. 613, 18 U.S.C. § 953, enacted January 30, 1799) is a United States federal law that criminalizes negotiation by unauthorized persons with foreign governments having a dispute with the United States. The intent behind the Act is to prevent unauthorized negotiations from undermining the government's position. The Act was passed following George Logan's unauthorized negotiations with France in 1798, and was signed into law by President John Adams on January 30, 1799.
In a nutshell:
In states that have one, the secretary of state is the chief clerk of the state, and is often the primary custodian of important state records.
For a list of common duties and states where the Secretary of State has unique responsibilities, see the Wikipedia article referenced above.