Michael Howe Secretary of State

About the Secretary of State

Michael Howe
North Dakota Secretary of State

Michael Howe has deep North Dakota roots. He is a fifth-generation farmer and is actively involved in operation of their seed farm near Casselton with his family. 

Michael’s connection to agriculture took him to North Dakota State University, and later to Washington DC where he served as agriculture policy director for North Dakota Congressman Rick Berg. After a stint in DC, he returned to North Dakota to continue policy work for the North Dakota Corn Growers Association. In 2014, he returned to the family farm and served on the Board of Directors for the North Dakota Grain Growers Association. 

Michael and his wife, Katie, married a year before he became North Dakota’s 15th Secretary of State on January 1, 2023. They and their black lab, Cannon, greatly enjoy exploring the beauty of North Dakota.Secretary Howe chairing business committee meeting.

Michael served rural Cass County in the North Dakota Legislature for six-years as State Representative from District 22, prior to becoming Secretary of State. In his second legislative session, he was appointed to the House Appropriations Committee and served as chairman of the interim Government Finance Committee.

Michael is actively involved in the National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS), and currently serves as co-chair of the NASS Business Services Committee. 

As North Dakota Secretary of State, he also serves on the following state boards: Board of University and School Lands, Emergency Commission, State Historical Board, State Canvassing Board, Theodore Roosevelt Rough Rider Award.


About the Office

We are North Dakota’s starting point for democracy and transparency. 
We serve, guide and engage citizens, through elections, business and official records. 

  • The Office of the Secretary of State conducts a wide range of licensing, regulatory, registration, and administrative functions. We are the office of record for certain legal documents generated by the executive and legislative branches of state government, as well as public records and notices involving various business. 
  • The Office of the Secretary of State is your trusted source for election information, and with North Dakota’s 53 counties to administer and protect the integrity of our election process. Statewide election results are made available through our elections site - Vote.ND.Gov
  • Great Seal of North DakotaAs keeper of the Great Seal of the State of North Dakota, the Secretary certifies the authenticity of official documents, such as acts of the Legislature, and proclamations and executive orders issued by the governor. The office is also the keeper of the original chapter laws passed each legislative session and signed by the various officers of the Legislature, such as the president of the Senate, speaker of the House, chief clerk of the House, and secretary of the Senate, as well as the secretary of state and (in most cases) the governor.
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Secretaries Since Statehood

North Dakota Secretaries of State

Michael Howe  2023 - Present
Alvin A. Jaeger  1993-2022
Jim Kusler  1989-1992
Ben Meier  1955-1988
Thomas Hall1943-1954
Herman Thorson  1941-1942
James D. Gronna  1935-1940
Robert Byrne  1925-1934
Thomas Hall  1913-1924
Patrick D. Norton  1911-1912
Alfred Blaisdell  1907-1910
Edward F. Porter  1901-1906
Fred Falley  1897-1900
Christian M. Dahl  1893-1896
John Flittie1889-1892
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A Legacy Beginning in Dakota Territory

A Legacy Beginning in Dakota Territory

The legacy of the Office of the Secretary of State is one that predates statehood in North Dakota. When North Dakota became a state on November 2, 1889, the Secretary of the Territory had already been established with the creation of the Dakota Territory in March 1861. The Secretary of the Territory was to record and preserve all the laws, proceedings, and acts of the Legislative Assembly and Governor, along with other roles. The Secretary of State maintains most of those early tasks today.