North Dakota Secretary of State

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North Dakota Secretary of State
General information
Office Type:  Partisan
Office website:  Official Link
2011-2013 FY Budget:  $16,113,144
Term limits:  None
Length of term:   4 years
Authority:  Article V, Section 2
Selection Method:  Elected
Current Officeholder

Al Jaeger.jpg
Name:  Al Jaeger
Officeholder Party:  Republican
Assumed office:  1992
Compensation:  $96,794
Next election:  November 6, 2018
Last election:  November 4, 2014
Other North Dakota Executive Offices
GovernorLieutenant GovernorSecretary of StateAttorney GeneralTreasurerAuditorSuperintendent of EducationAgriculture CommissionerInsurance CommissionerNatural Resources CommissionerLabor CommissionerPublic Service CommissionTax Commissioner
The North Dakota Secretary of State is an elected executive position in the North Dakota state government. The secretary of state is the chief election officer in the state, and is responsible for licensing business and maintaining a central indexing system. The office maintains the Great Seal of North Dakota.

Current officeholder

The current officeholder is Republican Al Jaeger. He was first elected to office in 1992, and was subsequently re-elected to the position in 1996, 2000, 2004, 2006, 2010 and 2014.[1]


The state Constitution establishes the office of secretary of state in Article V, Section 2:

The qualified electors of the state at the times and places of choosing members of the legislative assembly shall choose a governor, lieutenant governor, agriculture commissioner, attorney general, auditor, insurance commissioner, three public service commissioners, secretary of state, superintendent of public instruction, tax commissioner, and treasurer. ...

Term Length

See also: North Dakota State and County Official Term Lengths, Initiative 5 (1964)

The four-year term length was established after an initiated constitutional amendment on the 1964 ballot was approved. Prior to this, the term length was two years.[2]


Article V, Section 4 of the North Dakota Constitution establishes the qualifications to hold the office of secretary of state:

To be eligible to hold an elective office established by this article, a person must be a qualified elector of this state, must be at least twenty-five years of age on the day of the election, and must have been a resident of this state for the five years preceding election to office. To be eligible to hold the office of governor or lieutenant governor, a person must be at least thirty years old on the day of the election. The attorney general must be licensed to practice law in this state.
  • qualified North Dakota voter
  • at least 25 years old
  • a resident of North Dakota for at least the five preceding years


Article V, Section 8 addresses vacancies in state executive offices.

Article V, Section 8:

In the event of a vacancy, the governor will fill any office by appointment if no other method is provided by this constitution or by law. The appointed individual serves the remainder of the unexpired term.


The secretary of state in North Dakota is popularly elected every four years, in midterm elections. For North Dakota, 2018, 2022 and 2026 are all secretary of state election years. The term of office is four years.

Full history


See also: North Dakota secretary of state election, 2014

Republican incumbent Al Jaeger won re-election on November 4, 2014.

Secretary of State of North Dakota, 2014
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngAl Jaeger Incumbent 62.4% 152,085
     Democratic April Fairfield 32.2% 78,474
     Libertarian Roland Riemers 5.3% 12,920
     Nonpartisan Write-in votes 0.1% 278
Total Votes 243,757
Election Results via North Dakota Secretary of State.


The secretary of state has a number of duties, beyond serving at the state's chief election officer and keeper of the Great Seal of North Dakota. The officeholder, generally, is responsible for:

  • maintaining a log of all official acts of the governor
  • serving as the State Athletic (Boxing) Commissioner
  • maintaining and distributes the North Dakota Century Code, North Dakota Administrative Code, and the North Dakota sessions laws
  • publishing the North Dakota Blue Book
  • maintaining a record of all original bills and resolutions from each Legislative Assembly

The secretary of state serves on the Board of University and School Lands, the Emergency Commission, the State Historical Board, the State Canvassing Board, and the board for the Theodore Roosevelt Rough Rider Award.[3]

Additional duties of the individual divisions within the office of secretary of state are expanded upon in the next section.

Click here to view larger-scale image of the North Dakota SOS Organizational Chart as of March 2013.


There are four primary divisions within the Secretary of State's Office:

  • The Administrative/Licensing Division issues licenses to contractors, registers lobbyists, charitable organizations and professional fundraisers, and commissions notaries public.
  • The Business Information/Registration Division records trademarks and trade names, and files and maintains records for limited liability partnerships, limited partnerships, domestic and foreign limited liability companies, real estate investments trusts, nonprofit corporations, state banks, credit unions, and cooperatives.
  • The Central Indexing Division files UCC documents, agricultural liens, and other liens. This division also maintains a computer database and system that connects the state's fifty-three county Recorders.
  • The Elections Division handles all aspects of all elections within the state, including prescribing the form and content of ballots, receiving petitions, filing oaths of office, filing campaign disclosure reports, and certified the names of all elected officials.[3]

State budget

See also: North Dakota state budget and finances

The budget for the Secretary of State's office in Fiscal Year 2011-2013 was $16,113,144.[4]


The secretary of state is legally entitled to an annual salary in accordance with Title 54 of the North Dakota Century Code. Taking into account value adjustments, the statute contains compensation figures for the previous and current year only.[5] The secretary's pay may not be increased or diminished effective during the current term.


In 2014, secretary of state received a salary of $96,794, according to the Council of State Governments.[6]


In 2013, secretary of state received a salary of $93,071, according to the Council of State Governments.[7]

Historical officeholders

Since 1889, North Dakota has had 13 secretaries of state. Thomas Hall served at two different times.

Click "show" for former officeholders.[8]

Recent news

This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the terms "North Dakota Secretary of State."

Some of the stories below may not be relevant to this page due to the nature of Google's news search engine.

North Dakota Secretary of State - Google News Feed

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Contact Information

The North Dakota Secretary of State
600 E Boulevard Avenue Dept 108
Bismarck, ND 58505-0500

North Dakota

Phone: (701) 328-2900
Toll Free Phone: (800) 352-0867
Fax: (701) 328-2992

See also

External links

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