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Records of the Office of the Secretary of State

Creator: Kansas. Secretary of State

Date: 1861 - [ongoing]

Level of Description: Coll./Record Group

Material Type: Government record

Call Number: Unavailable

Unit ID: 216312

Space Required/Quantity: Circa 4600 cubic feet.

Title (Main title): Records of the Office of the Secretary of State

Administrative History

Administrative History: The Secretary of State is a constitutional officer and agency, established in 1861 when Kansas became a state. The Secretary is an elected official for a four-year term and is second in line for succession to the office of Governor.

The Secretary is responsible for many electoral, economic, and administrative duties of the state. The office is responsible for overseeing the administration of all national and state elections in Kansas, as well as the registration of lobbyists. The agency also maintains information on voter registration, candidate filing, campaign finances, election statistics, and information on past elections.
The Secretary operates the Business Filing Center, which registers business entities, trademarks, trade names, and liens made pursuant to the Uniform Commercial Code. The secretary regulates a wide variety of businesses, including sports agents, trade unions, cemeteries, and funeral homes.

The agency's Publications section offers a wide variety of information that is either produced or distributed by the office. These resources include the Kansas Directory, Lobbyist Directory, Legislative Directory, Kansas Administrative Regulations (K.A.R.s), Session Laws, and the Kansas Register, which is the official state newspaper. Additionally the secretary distributes Kansas Statutes Annotated (K.S.A.). The secretary also operates "Safe at Home", the state's Address Confidentiality Program, and conducts census adjustments.

[Kansas Secretary of State. "Kansas Secretary of State." http://www.kssos.org/main.html (accessed April 21, 2009.)]

[Secretary of State. Kansas Biennial Report. Topeka: Secretary of State, 1980.]

Scope and Content

Scope and content:

This record group contains the records of the Office of the Secretary of State, from when Kansas became a state until almost the present day. The records document the office's responsibilities in regulating corporations, labor unions, funeral homes, sports agents, & cemeteries; administering all state & national elections; keeping records on voter registration, candidate filing, campaign finances, election statistics, & information on past elections; some census-related documentation; and earlier responsibilities, such as the construction & maintenance of the State Capitol grounds & some other public buildings.

The Corporation Filings series for domestic, foreign, labor union, and agricultural corporations combine to make the largest series, at over 1300 cubic feet. These records include articles of incorporation, copies of corporate charters, and forms related to mergers, consolidations, restoration, renewal, and cancellation of limited partnership, and related correspondence filed by companies pursuant to legal requirements for incorporation in Kansas. Related to the Corporation Filings are the Corporation Annual Reports, also known as Business Entity Annual Reports. These document the asset and liability information for all businesses incorporated in the state. Other series related to corporations are the corporation amendments, corporation charters, or the Trademark and Service Mark Filings series, comprised of several volumes documenting corporate charters, changes made to the charters, trademark registration, and trademark ownership. These records can be found either in paper and volume form or on microfilm.

The records also contain numerous series relating to primary, general, and special state or national elections, as well as records filed by candidates seeking to be on the ballot for a given election. The Election Campaign Finance Reports for both state and federal candidates include fiscal disclosure statements, earned and unearned income reports, compensations paid by source liabilities, receipts and disbursements, and reports on contributions from individuals in support of political campaigns. The Political Action Committee Reports series comprises 75 cubic feet and includes reports of receipts collected and disbursements made to political candidates by political action committees (PAC) supporting candidates for federal offices. Related records include the Statements of Substantial Interest, comprised of 200 cubic feet, documenting political candidates' ownership interests in businesses to avoid conflicts of interest. Other records include the candidacy declaration forms filed by prospective political candidates, as well as petitions and nomination forms filed by interest groups in support of alternative candidates. Additionally, the record group consists of election returns for elections dating back to 1861 and as late as 1992. The records also contain several commission and bonding records, both volumes and loose documents, for public notaries and justices of the peace.

The third and final large category of interrelated records pertains to state legislative matters and activities. Included are House of Representatives and Senate bills organized by session year and bill number; lobbyist registration and expense reports; House and Senate legislative journals, documenting daily activities and motions passed of each chamber during a given session; and legislative documents composed of volumes documenting summary information on actions taken on all bills and resolutions introduced in the House and Senate that are used to track legislation.

Notably, the collection contains a copy of the 1861 bill admitting Kansas as a state to the Union, the Senate Resolution ratifying the 13th Amendment to the United States Constitution, and the County Organization Files containing census and survey records documenting the establishment of numerous Kansas counties after statehood.

In many cases the larger series also contain records on microfilm. The records of smaller agencies no longer in existence, such as the Board of Canvassers and the State House Commission, are among these materials. Board of Canvassers records include minutes, correspondence, and election returns. State House Commission records series such as Statehouse Commission - Communications, Statehouse Commission Meeting Minutes, Statehouse Commission - Records, Correspondence, and Bills document the construction and maintenance of the State Capitol. A few records from the auditor of State, specifically volumes and registers documenting the sale of school lands and railroad land grants, were likely transferred to the Office of the Secretary of State upon the abolition of the state auditor in 1975.


No Locators Identified

Index Terms


    Kansas. Secretary of State -- History
    Kansas. Secretary of State -- Records and correspondence
    Kansas State Capitol (Topeka, Kan.)
    Kansas -- Politics and government
    Bills, Legislative -- Kansas
    Bonded warehouses and goods -- Kansas
    Capitols -- Design and construction
    Cemeteries -- Kansas
    Civil service -- Selection and appointment -- Kansas
    Corporation reports -- Kansas
    Corporations, Foreign -- Kansas
    Corporations -- Kansas
    Elections -- Kansas
    Justices of the peace -- Selection and appointment -- Kansas
    Labor unions -- Kansas
    Lobbyists -- Kansas
    Notaries -- Selection and appointment -- Kansas
    Political action committees -- Kansas
    Political candidates -- Kansas

Creators and Contributors

Agency Classification:

    Kansas State Agencies. Office of the Secretary of State.