Missouri Secretary of State

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Missouri Secretary of State
General information
Office Type:  Partisan
Office website:  Official Link
2012-2013 FY Budget:  $39,788,125
Term limits:  None
Length of term:   4 years
Authority:  Missouri Constitution, Article IV, Section 14 the Executive Department
Selection Method:  Elected
Current Officeholder

Jason Kander.jpg
Name:  Jason Kander
Officeholder Party:  Democratic
Assumed office:  January 14, 2013
Compensation:  $107,746
Next election:  November 2016
Last election:  November 6, 2012
Other Missouri Executive Offices
GovernorLieutenant GovernorSecretary of StateAttorney GeneralTreasurerAuditorCommissioner of EducationAgriculture DirectorInsurance DirectorNatural Resources DirectorLabor DirectorPublic Service Commission
The Secretary of State for Missouri is a member of the executive branch of government and has constitutional as well as statutory duties in the state of Missouri.

Current officeholder

The current Democratic secretary of state is Jason Kander. Kander was first elected on November 6, 2012, and sworn into office on January 14, 2013. His predecessor, Robin Carnahan (D), did not seek re-election in 2012.


The state Constitution addresses the office of secretary of state in Article IV, the Executive Department.

Under Article IV, Section 14:

The secretary of state shall be custodian of the seal of the state, and authenticate therewith all official acts of the governor except the approval of laws...


Here is a list of the standard qualifications necessary under Missouri State Law in order to be considered for the Office of Secretary of State:

  • Must be a citizen of the United States
  • Must be a legal resident of the state for one year immediately preceding election or appointment
  • Is not delinquent in the payment of any state income taxes, personal property taxes, real property taxes on the place of residence as stated in the declaration of candidacy
  • Is not a past or present corporate officer of any fee office that owes any taxes to the state
  • Has not been found guilty of or pled guilty to a felony or misdemeanor under the federal laws of the United States of America
  • Has not been convicted of or found guilty of or pled guilty to a felony under the laws of Missouri[1]


Missouri state government organizational chart
See also: States with gubernatorial term limits, State legislatures with term limits

The Office of Secretary of State is an elected position with elections held every four years. Elections are held with presidential elections. There are no term limits for this office.


See also: Missouri secretary of state election, 2012

Incumbent Robin Carnahan (D) did not run for re-election in 2012. Jason Kander (D) defeated Shane Schoeller (R) for the open seat in the general election on November 6, 2012.[2]

  • 2012 General Election for Missouri Secretary of State
Missouri Secretary of State General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngJason Kander 48.9% 1,298,022
     Republican Shane Schoeller 47.4% 1,258,937
     Libertarian Cisse Spragins 2.7% 70,814
     Constitution Justin Harter 1% 27,710
Total Votes 2,655,483
Election Results via Missouri Secretary of State.


Note: Ballotpedia's state executive officials project researches the constitutional or statutory text that details the process of filling vacancies for a state executive office. That information for the Missouri Secretary of State has not yet been added. After extensive research we were unable to identify any relevant information on state official websites. If you have any additional information about this office for inclusion on this section and/or page, please email us.


Article IV, Section 14 of the state Constitution outlines the following duties Secretary of State:

  • Custodian of the seal of the state
  • Keep a register of the official acts of the governor
  • Act as custodian of such records and documents


There are six divisions that the secretary of state works with, which include:

  • Business Services: annual reports, small business advocacy, and business registration.
  • State Archives
  • Elections: voting information and procedures, election results and statistics, Help America Vote Act (HAVA), and registration of candidates
  • Securities and Investing: filing complaints, smart investing, registration, and enforcement of regulations
  • State Library
  • Publications: tracking of state documents, the state seal, voting rosters and manuals.

Electoral history


  • 2004 Race for Secretary of State - Democratic Primary
2004 Race for Secretary of State - General Election[3]
Party Candidate Vote Percentage
     Democratic Party Approveda Robin Carnahan 51.1%
     Republican Party Catherine Hanaway 46.4%
     Libertarian Party Christopher Davis 1.9%
     Constitution Party Donna Ivanovich 0.6%
Total Votes 2,678,326


  • 2008 Race for Secretary of State - Democratic Primary
2008 Race for Secretary of State - General Election[4]
Party Candidate Vote Percentage
     Democratic Party Approveda Robin Carnahan 61.8%
     Republican Party Mitchell Hubbard 35.6%
     Libertarian Party Wes Upchurch 1.4%
     Constitution Party Denise C. Neely 1.2%
Total Votes 2,829,810

Role in the initiative process

Drafting of the ballot

In order for a ballot to gain approval in the state of Missouri, a petitioner must submit a sample petition, at which time the petitioner will receive a receipt. According to the guidelines of the state, the text for the ballot is then sent to the state attorney general to be check for the initiative's legality and format.

Within 10 days the initiative will be returned to the secretary of state's office. The secretary of state will evaluate the attorney general's comments as to the format of the petition and choose to reject or approve it. Under this final appraisal a letter is sent out to the petitioner alerting them of the secretary of state's decision.

If the initiative was approved then a summary statement is prepared and sent to the attorney general within 10 days. The attorney general will then check the summary for its legality and format before returning it to the secretary of state, again within 10 days. The secretary of state then has 3 days to certify the ballot title and send a copy of the title, summary and fiscal note to the petitioner.

The information about the ballot will be posted on the secretary of state website.

Submitting the ballot

Petitions must be submitted to the secretary of state within 6 months of the general elections.

Petitioners must turn in the paperwork showing the number of pages per county, circulator's reports, and contact information. Within 20 days of receiving this information the secretary of state shall prepare and send fair ballot language statements that explain what a vote for or against a measure would represent. The attorney general then will double check the summary for legality and form and return in to the secretary of state within 10 days.

Signature verification

Signatures are verified by the local election authority. Time for the delivery of signatures to each election authority varies on the number of petitions filed with the secretary of state.

  • At least one petition: signatures must be in local offices no later than two weeks after being filed with the secretary of state.
  • Total of three petitions: signatures must be in local offices no later than three weeks from being filed.
  • More than three petitions: signatures must be in local offices no later than the fourth week after being filed.

When the local election authority receives the signatures, the signatures will be verified by either choosing a random sampling or verifying the authentication of every signature. All verified signatures must be certified and delivered to the Secretary of State by 5:00pm on the last Tuesday in July prior to the election.

If the ballot is determined to be sufficient, the secretary of state will issue a certificate stating that it will be on the ballot, other wise there will be a statement giving the reasons for the insufficiency.

The secretary of state has until 5:00 pm on the 13th Tuesday prior to the general election to certify the petition.

Voting process


Following a compilation of turnout estimates submitted by the 116 election authorities around the state, 51 percent of registered voters are expected to turnout for the mid-term elections on Nov. 2, 2010, according to the secretary of state's office. If the 51 percent prediction is met, more than 2.1 million votes will be cast. In the 2006 mid-term elections, 53.1 percent of registered voters turned out on election day, compared to 51 percent in 2002, and 43.4 percent in 1998. There are 4,137,545 residents registered to vote in the Nov. 2 elections. The turnout for the Aug. 3 primary in Missouri was 22.9 percent, less than the 24 percent predicted by the secretary of state's office in July.[5]

The secretary of state's office missed the estimate. Across Missouri on Election Day, 46.8 percent of registered voters turned out to cast a ballot, according to estimates released by the Missouri Secretary of State. Approximately 1,9369,918, out of 4,137,545 registered voters in the state went to a polling place. Election results must be certified by the secretary of state no later than the second Tuesday in December. A candidate who lost a race by less than 1 percent may request a recount within seven days of certification.[6]

Election Day problems

On Election Day, poll workers across Missouri reported difficulties accessing the electronic database designed to verify voter registration information. A spokesperson for the Missouri Secretary of State said that for part of the day the voter look-up tool used by poll workers was not available online. The secretary of state's office said it did not receive any reports of voters being kept from casting a ballot.[7]

A piece of computer hardware failed on Election day, preventing the poll workers from accessing the central electronic database designed to verify voter registration for part of the day. One of the load balancers -- a piece of computer hardware that manages Internet traffic by determining how requests are sent to servers -- is to blame for the problems with the system, according to a spokesperson from the secretary of state's office. Once the problem was identified, traffic was rerouted and everything worked again by early afternoon.[8]

Freida Keough, a roving deputy for the St. Louis County Board of Election Commissioners, described the problems she encountered on Election Day. Her job was to drive around and check polling places in south St. Louis County. She said she personally witnessed at least three people leave after getting frustrated. She said other poll workers also noticed people leaving. One of the alternative methods to verify voter registration was to use a mobile phone to call local election authorities. But Keough said that she and others had problems throughout the day getting a hold of anyone at the county election board. "We could never get through," she said. "We gave up."[9]

State budget

The Secretary of State's budget for 2012-2013 was $39,788,125.[10]


Article IV, Section 21 of the state Constitution addresses compensation of executive officials:

Under Article IV, Section 21:

The officers named in this article shall receive for their services salaries fixed by law, which shall not be increased or diminished during their terms.


In 2013, the secretary of state's salary remained at $107,746.[11]


In 2010, the Missouri Secretary of State was paid an estimated $107,746 according to the Council of State Governments.[12]

Historical officeholders

Since 1820, Missouri has had 38 secretaries of state. Of those 38, 31 have been Democrats, 6 Republicans, and one Union.[13]

Recent news

This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the term Missouri + Secretary + of + State

All stories may not be relevant to this page due to the nature of the search engine.

Missouri Secretary of State News Feed

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Contact information

Capitol Address:

Office of the Secretary of State
State Information Center
600 West Main
Jefferson City, MO 65101

Phone: (573) 751-4936
E-mail: SOSmain@sos.mo.gov

See also

External links

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