History of the Office

When the North Dakota Constitution was adopted in 1889, the term of the office for the Secretary of State was two years in length.  Beginning in 1965, along with other statewide elected officials, the term of office for the Secretary of State was expanded to four years.  This change was made after voters approved Measure #5, which appeared on the ballot in the June 30, 1964, primary election. In that election, 115,393 people voted.  There were 60,099 (52%) voters in favor of the measure and 55,294 (48%) voters who were against the change.

The next change in the term of office occurred on June 13, 2000, when the voters approved Measure #2.  This measure moved the election of four constitutional offices, including the Secretary of State, to the non-presidential election year beginning in 2006.  Consequently, to establish the cycle, four constitutional offices were elected to a term of two years in the 2004 general election.  Then, in 2006, and every four years thereafter, these four elected positions have a term of four years.  The vote was 49,391 (62%) in favor of the change and 30,431 (38%) opposed.

North Dakota Secretaries of State

1. John Flittie   1889-1892
2. Christian M. Dahl   1893-1896
3. Fred Falley   1897-1900
4. Edward F. Porter   1901-1906
5. Alfred Blaisdell   1907-1910
6. Patrick D. Norton   1911-1912
7. Thomas Hall *   1913-1924
8. Robert Byrne   1925-1934
9. James D. Gronna   1935-1940
10. Herman Thorson   1941-1942
11. Thomas Hall *   1943-1954
12. Ben Meier   1955-1988
13. Jim Kusler   1989-1992
14. Alvin A. Jaeger   1993- Present

* served at two different times