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(1)  Organization of the Office of the Secretary of State.

(a)  The Office of the Secretary of State of the state of Montana was created by the 1889 Constitution of the state of Montana, Article VII, Section 1.  The office was continued and currently exists under the 1972 Constitution of the state of Montana, Article VI, Section 1.

(b)  The Office of the Secretary of State is part of the executive branch of the state government and is headed by an elected official, the Secretary of State.  A variety of duties imposed on the Secretary of State by the state constitution and statute are discharged by the Secretary of State and appointed deputies under the direction of the Secretary of State with the administrative support of the divisions.

(c)  The internal structure of the office is administered by the Secretary of State through a chief deputy and three divisions:

(i)  Operations Division;

(ii)  Business Services Division; and

(iii)  Elections and Voter Services Division.

(d)  The Commissioner of Political Practices is administratively attached to the Office of the Secretary of State as provided in 2-15-411, MCA.

(e)  The Board of State Canvassers was transferred to the Office of the Secretary of State under the Executive Reorganization Act of 1971.  The board is comprised of the State Auditor, the Superintendent of Public Instruction, and the Attorney General.  The Secretary of State is the secretary of the board and furnishes clerical support to the board.  The Board of State Canvassers has no rulemaking authority.

(2) The duties and functions of the Office of the Secretary of State are outlined in the Montana Constitution and Title 2, chapter 15, part 4, MCA. Some of the general duties include:

(a) interpreting state election laws and overseeing elections;

(b) maintaining the official records of the executive branch and the acts of the legislature;

(c) reviewing, maintaining, and distributing public interest records of businesses and nonprofit organizations;

(d) publishing administrative rules adopted by state departments, boards, and agencies;

(e) attesting to the Governor's signature on executive orders, proclamations, resolutions, extradition papers, and appointments;

(f) commissioning notaries public;

(g) filing and maintaining records of secured financial transactions, such as liens; and

(h) serving on the Board of Land Commissioners and the Board of Examiners.

(3) The functions of the divisions follow:

(a) The Operations Division provides various services both internally to the office and externally to the public. The primary services of the division include:

(i) Human Resources;

(ii) Communications;

(iii) Fiscal Management;

(iv) Information Technology and Security;

(v) Official Records;

(vi) Records Management;

(vii) Administrative Rules; and

(viii) Notary.

(b) The Business Services Division offers an extensive range of services to Montana businesses. The primary functions of the division include:

(i) assistance to businesses with the filing of their registration, articles of incorporation, assumed business names, and trademarks; and

(ii) filing and maintaining records under the Uniformed Commercial Code (UCC).

(c) The Elections and Voter Services Division offers a variety of services which include:

(i) providing interpretations and guidance on election laws to ensure uniformity across Montana elections; and

(ii) providing assistance to Montana voters, candidates, and election officials.

(4) The Secretary of State is a member of the Board of Examiners, the Board of Land Commissioners, the State Records Committee, and the Local Government Records Committee.

(5) General inquiries regarding the office may be addressed to the Montana Secretary of State, Room 260, State Capitol, P.O. Box 202801, Helena, Montana 59620-2801, or by calling (406) 444-2034, or visiting sosmt.gov.

(6) The organizational chart of the Office of the Secretary of State follows this rule, and a staff directory is located on the Office of the Secretary of State's website at sosmt.gov.





History: 2-4-201, MCA; IMP, 2-4-201, MCA; Eff. 12/31/72; AMD, Eff. 8/4/75; AMD, Eff. 7/26/77; AMD, Eff. 3/31/80; AMD, Eff. 7/1/81; AMD, Eff. 3/31/87; AMD, Eff. 9/1/89; AMD, Eff. 7/1/91; AMD, Eff. 9/30/04; AMD, Eff. 9/30/06; AMD, Eff. 3/31/08; AMD, Eff. 6/30/10; AMD, Eff. 3/31/18; AMD, Eff. 1/4/21; AMD, Eff. 2/15/24.

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