Address: 800 Summer St. NE, Salem 97310
Contact: Mary Beth Herkert, State Archivist
Statutory Authority: ORS 177.120, Chapter 183, 192.001–192.170, 357.805–357.885
Duties and Responsibilities: The State Archives was created by the Oregon Legislature in 1945 and received its initial funding in 1947. The primary function of the State Archives was to manage public records at all levels of government in Oregon by authorizing their retention and disposition and to identify, preserve and provide access to the permanently valuable public records of the state.
Today, the State Archives acts as the state’s information manager (Records Management Unit) by managing public records from creation until final disposition and as the state’s information broker (Reference Unit) by identifying, preserving and providing access, through its website and in person, to the permanently valuable public records of the state. In addition, the division is responsible for filing, codifying and publishing Oregon’s Administrative Rules; compiling and publishing the Oregon Blue Book; filing Official Documents; providing advice and assistance on a variety of public records issues; and managing the State Records Center for non-permanent, paper records storage and the Security Copy Depository for microfilm.
The State Archives is home to the original Oregon Constitution.
State Historical Records Advisory Board
Address: 800 Summer St. NE, Salem 97310
Contact: Mary Beth Herkert, State Coordinator
Address: Public Service Bldg., 255 Capitol St. NE, Suite 500, Salem 97310
Phone: 503-986-2255; Hotline: 1-800-336-8218
Contact: Mary Wenger, Interim Director
Statutory Authority: ORS 177.170–177.180, Chapter 297
Duties and Responsibilities: Created in 1929, the Audits Division conducts audits to protect the public interest and improve Oregon government. The division ensures that public funds are properly accounted for, spent in accordance with legal requirements and used to the best advantage. These efforts evoke Oregon’s first auditor whose duties were defined in the Territorial Statutes “to lessen the public expenses, use public money to best advantage, promote frugality in public office, and generally, for better management.” The division conducts its work according to the professional standards published by the U.S. Government Accountability Office, and all its audits are available to the public on the secretary of state’s website.
Address: Public Service Bldg., 255 Capitol St. NE, Suite 151, Salem 97310
Contact: Peter Threlkel, Director
Statutory Authority: ORS Chapters 56, 58, 60, 62, 63, 65, 67, 68, 79, 80, 87, 128, 194, 554, 647, 648
The origins and functions of the Corporation Division date back to 1862. The division provides timely document processing services and convenient access to information about businesses, notaries, secured transactions and government resources for a prosperous Oregon. The division assists the public in registering business entities and filing public notice of records of debt, commissions notaries public, and provides certification of records and notarized documents. The division provides access to public record information in the form of copies, certificates, lien searches, computer reports, and on-line database access to allow the public and businesses to know with whom they are doing business.
The Office of Small Business Assistance assists businesses who experience difficulty in their interactions with a state agency and connects businesses with state and non-state resources. The office acts as an ombudsman to help resolve problems between businesses and state agencies.
The division helps entrepreneurs start a business in Oregon by ensuring government registration processes are as fast and easy as possible. These efforts help accomplish the secretary of state’s vision to deliver better results to Oregonians through more efficient and effective service delivery, greater transparency and accountability, and using innovation to connect Oregonians to their government.
Address: Public Service Bldg., 255 Capitol St. NE, Suite 501, Salem 97310-0722
Contact: Brenda Bayes, Interim Director
Statutory Authority: ORS Chapters 246–260
Duties and Responsibilities: The Elections Division ensures the uniform interpretation and application of Oregon’s election laws and enforces federal election laws. It monitors and supervises election administration of the country’s first vote-by-mail system in all 36 counties and provides the public, elected officials, candidates, media and interested parties advice and assistance in all matters related to elections. Though some of its duties were performed prior to statehood in 1859, the Elections Division was officially created in 1957 when the secretary of state was named the chief elections officer for the state.
The division manages the statewide voter registration database and the electronic system for tracking and reporting campaign finance transactions. The division accepts filings for state offices, receives and verifies initiative and referendum petitions, and monitors campaign contributions and expenditure reports. The division publishes and distributes the Voters’ Pamphlet for all state elections and investigates alleged election law violations.
Business Services Division
Address: Public Service Bldg., 255 Capitol St. NE, Suite 180, Salem 97310
Contact: Jeff Morgan, Director
Human Resources Division
Address: Public Service Bldg., 255 Capitol St. NE, Suite 105, Salem 97310
Contact: Jackie Steffens, Director
Information Systems Division
Address: Public Service Bldg., 255 Capitol St. NE, Suite 103, Salem 97310
Contact: Chris Molin, Director