Duties and Functions of the Secretary of State

The Secretary of State is one of six executive-branch officers originally designated by the Montana Constitution of 1889. The current secretary, Christi Jacobsen, took office in January 2021 and is the 22nd person to hold the office since Montana became a state in 1889. In 1992, the Constitution was amended to limit the Secretary of State and other top officials to two 4-year terms in a 16-year period.

The duties and functions of the Secretary of State are diverse. They include:

  • Interpreting state election laws and overseeing elections.
  • Maintaining the official records of the executive branch and the acts of the legislature.
  • Reviewing, maintaining, and distributing public-interest records of businesses and nonprofit organizations.
  • Filing administrative rules adopted by state departments, boards, and agencies.
  • Attesting to the governor’s signature on executive orders, proclamations, resolutions, extradition papers, and appointments.
  • Preserving the state seal.
  • Filing and maintaining records of secured financial transactions, such as liens.
  • Serving on the state Board of Land Commissioners and the Board of Examiners.
  • Commissioning notaries public.

Duties & Functions

A complete list of the duties and functions of the Secretary of State is outlined in Title 2, Chapter 15, Part 4, of the Montana Code Annotated (2-15-401 MCA).


The Secretary of State’s Office is divided into five divisions:

The Secretary of State’s main offices are on the second floor of the Capitol Building in Helena.

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