The Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State is a constitutional office in the executive branch of state government. It has existed since statehood in 1858. Minnesota’s first secretary of state, Francis Bassen, assumed the office on May 24, 1858.
Minnesota’s secretary of state is elected to a 4-year term as prescribed in the state’s constitution. The secretary is the keeper of the great seal of the State of Minnesota and is vested with a number of responsibilities including preserving documents filed with the state, providing certain business services to the public, maintaining the recording of financing statements under the Uniform Commercial Code and administering Safe at Home, an address confidentiality program assisting Minnesotans who fear for their safety such as victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking.
The secretary is also the chief elections officer in Minnesota and works closely with county and local election officials to administer elections. The secretary chairs a State Canvassing Board, which certifies the results of elections.
Other official duties include serving as a member on the State Executive Council, State Board of Investment, and the Minnesota Historical Society Executive Board.
Elected in 2006, Mark Ritchie became Minnesota’s 21st Secretary of State.
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