Elections and Government Services Administrative Rules of Montana Business Services Notary and Certification Records and Information Management

The Secretary of State’s Office is divided into the following divisions:

Mission Statement

It is the mission of the Secretary of State to improve services to Montana’s voters, business community, and governmental agencies through open communications, effective use of technology, and transparent accountability.

Goals and Objectives

The Secretary of State will enhance services to the public utilizing technology throughout all divisions to improve the user’s ability to receive information and access services provided by this office.

  1. Digitized Ballot Creation: Create a uniform and digitized precinct level ballot creation mechanism for all 56 counties – easing the work load for County Clerks and Recorders and Election Administrators.
  2. Expanded E-Notification Service for Annual Report Filers: Continue to expand the use of e-notifications for Annual Report filing reminders – reducing costs by decreasing the number of paper filings and encouraging greater use of the office’s online filing services.
  3. Enhanced Notarial Training: Supplement the existing on-line training with topic-specific educational lunch bag webinars and video vignettes to improve the reliability of the services offered by Montana’s notaries public.
  4. Modernize the Notary and Apostille Application Processes:  Replace the existing paper-based application systems with automated systems designed to streamline the application processes.
  5. Online Training for Records and Information Management: Records and Information Management (RIM) is to act as a resource for all state and local government agencies by staying at the forefront of records management practices. By working with both the State Records Committee and the Local Government Records Committee, RIM will educate/train agencies to ensure Montana public record laws are being followed. This management of essential information helps to ensure continuity and accountability in government.
  6. Digitizing Ballot Initiative Signature Sheets: Scan and digitize submitted, and county approved, ballot initiative petition sheets – making them available to interested parties earlier and in a secure manner for future election cycles.
  7. Modernized Businesses Information System: Modernize the office’s outdated, 30 plus-year-old business information system. SOS will support and upgrade existing systems while implementing a new information system for the office. The first phase includes the new UCC Lien Filing application and office accounting application. The following phases will replace the corporate filing system, notary filing system, and other smaller legacy applications.
  8. Replace the Online Administrative Rules System: Host the system in the cloud or at SITSD, and maintain the program in-house.
  9. Modernize the Online Administrative Rules System: Replace the existing online system with modern technology that improves the efficiency of the publishing process for state agencies and enhances the public’s ability to locate, and track changes to, administrative rules of interest.
  10. Electronic transmission of Voter Registration records from MT Motor Vehicle Division: Evaluate resources and refine technology upgrade plan to transmit voter registration information and electronic signature from MVD to the Secretary of State VR database.
  11. Online voter registration:  Provide a public portal for Montana citizens to register to vote or update their voter registration information electronically, creating a more accurate and up-to-date voter registration list for Montana.
  12. State-to-state voter registration data sharing initiative: Join a national effort to compare VR information between states to help with VR list maintenance and to identify eligible but not registered individuals.
  13. Develop online training for Montana county election officials:  Develop a training program that county election officials can access online to increase training opportunities and to save money and time.
  14. Provide mobile access to SOS services: Develop application to allow mobile devices access to SOS services.
  15. Enhance Information Technology Support: Develop in-house IT staff capacity with up-to-date skill sets, depth of knowledge, cross-training to support agency IT applications and customer needs while ensuring compliance with state security and continuity of government policies.
  16. Replace SOS server environment: The SOS hardware lease and warranty has expired, and the equipment is at end of life. Therefore we will migrate to leased servers in the state data center by calendar year end 2016.
  17. Replace SOS desktop computers: Which have reached end of warranty and end of life, by calendar year end 2016.