Office of the Secretary of State

Jay Ashcroft, Secretary of State

Capitol Building, Room 208
P.O. Box 778
Jefferson City, Missouri 65102

The Secretary of State oversees numerous diverse programs and responsibilities affecting Missouri citizens. The office is comprised of 7 divisions and maintains offices in the State Capitol, the James C. Kirkpatrick State Information Center (JCKSIC) and has branch offices in St. Louis, Kansas City, and Springfield.

The Secretary of State is the chief elections official in Missouri, bearing responsibility for administration of statewide elections involving both issues and individuals, and oversees local verification of petition signatures for initiative petitions. The Secretary of State’s Commissions section authenticates official acts of the governor, and has the authority to appoint and commission notaries public.

The Office of the Secretary of State is a clearinghouse of information. The State Archives preserves and makes available in several formats, including the Internet, historic documents for use by researchers. This includes thousands of inquiries annually from genealogists. The Records Management program provides for state agencies to store and retrieve inactive files at the (JCKSIC). A companion Local Records program assists county and municipal governments in processing and safeguarding their important documents. The Publications section produces a number of useful books and periodicals, including the Official Manual, the state Constitution, and rosters of the General Assembly and state, county and district officers. The Administrative Rules section publishes the revisions to the Code of State Regulations monthly, which lists rules and regulations promulgated by state agencies, and the bi-monthly Missouri Register.

The Missouri State Library was created in 1946 as an independent agency with a board appointed by the governor. The major functions of the State Library are to provide direct library and information service in support of the executive and legislative branches of Missouri state government, to provide library service to blind and physically handicapped residents of Missouri and to promote the development and improvement of library services throughout the state. In July 1993, the State Library, including the Wolfner Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, was placed under the supervision of the Secretary of State.

Registration of businesses is another vital duty of the Secretary of State. The Corporations section handles the incorporation and reports for some 190,000 businesses licensed to do business in Missouri. Perfecting liens on business loans is the responsibility of the Uniform Commercial Code section, which receives some 137,000 filings each year. The Securities Division protects Missouri investors from fraud by reviewing proposed securities offerings and registering broker-dealers, agents and investment advisors.