Secretary of State Linda McCulloch’s Newsletter
A Commitment to Open Government

Click here to go to the Montana Secretary of State's website.

January 13, 2010

Welcome to the 2010 Winter Edition of my quarterly newsletter! As we start another productive year in the Montana Secretary of State’s Office, I look forward to continuing my commitment to open government by sharing with you timely updates that are both interesting and informative. It is my goal that each newsletter further enhances your understanding of this office and of my duties as Secretary of State. If there are any news updates you would like to see included in a future newsletter, please email your suggestions to secretary@mt.gov.

Happy New Year!

Linda McCulloch

In This Issue:


Important Annual Report Notice

Click here to file your annual report online.Like most Montanans, I am committed to cutting costs without cutting corners. That is why I continue to support online services and other technological advancements.

Last week, I sent an email notice to more than 87,000 business owners urging them to file their Annual Reports online in 2010. The email alert followed a record-breaking year of online filings, which saved businesses and the Secretary of State’s Office valuable time, money and resources.

In 2009, 88% of businesses filed their Annual Reports online. The unprecedented turnout was due in part to similar email alerts, which I sent to thousands of business service customers who were delinquent in filing their 2009 Annual Reports.

Following last week’s email notice, more than 9,700 customers filed their 2010 Annual Reports online. That’s a 10% turnout in the first week!

Online services save money, reduce waste and make it easier for folks to do business in Montana. I urge all businesses to continue to file their Annual Reports online.

Filing Online is Fast, Easy and Secure

Logon to bear.mt.gov today!


Voter Information

2010 Election News

The following statewide elections will be held in 2010:

June 8, 2010 – Primary Nominating Election
November 2, 2010 – Federal General Election

Candidate Information

Candidate Filing

The 2010 election cycle is now in full swing. If you’re interested in running for office, or would like to help someone who is, there are some important deadlines you need to know. The first day to file for any public office is Thursday, January 14, 2010. The final day to file for office is Monday, March 15, 2010. Additional information about candidate filing, including filing fees and eligible offices, is available on our website at sos.mt.gov.

Voter Registration

One of the most fundamental rights we enjoy as citizens of our state and nation is the right to vote for our public officials, including those who make and uphold our laws. Montana voters may vote in person at the polls or by absentee ballot for each of the 2010 statewide elections. They may register to vote during the regular registration period or they may take advantage of Montana’s late registration period, which runs from 29 days before the election until the close of polls on Election Day.  

Useful Links

Register to Vote – Return printable form to your county election administrator.

Check Voter Registration Status

Military & Overseas Voter Information

Absentee Ballot Requests & Information

Review 2010 Ballot Issue Proposals

Access Statewide Election Calendar 2010

Don’t forget to check with your county election administrator to find out what local elections will be held in your county in 2010.


Montana Notary of the Year Award

I am pleased to announce that Debra Kelly from the Sky Federal Credit Union in Livingston, Montana was selected in November 2009 to serve as the first Montana Notary of the Year.

 

NFIB/MT State Director Riley Johnson, Montana Notary of the Year Debra Kelly and Secretary of State Linda McCulloch celebrate in Livingston, Montana.

 

By virtue of this award, Kelly was automatically nominated for the National Notary of the Year award given annually by the National Notary Association.

Kelly was selected from a publicly nominated group of well-qualified professionals, each of whom was evaluated based on five criteria of excellence.

Riley Johnson, the Montana State Director for the National Federation of Independent Business, joined notary staff from the Montana Secretary of State’s Office to evaluate and review each nominee in the following areas: length of service as a notary; variety of documents notarized; use of notary journal before October 1, 2009; community service and exceptional notary service.

I would like to thank NFIB/MT State Director Johnson for lending his time and expertise to serve on the selection committee and for helping the office celebrate its first Montana Notary of the Year.

Congratulations to Debra Kelly, the 2009 Montana Notary of the Year!


Elections Training Workshop

 

 

Secretary McCulloch and her staff spread seasonal cheer at the Secretary of State’s Biennial Election Training Workshop in Billings, Montana.

Montana law provides the Secretary of State shall hold at least one workshop every two years to instruct Election Administrators and their staff in use of materials and new technology. 

In early December, more than 100 election officials attended the Secretary of State’s Biennial Election Training Workshop to receive hands-on training, review and discuss timely elections issues and analyze contingency plans. Attendees will receive a Certificate of Instruction, which is valid for two years.

This was my first time hosting the training workshop, and I am pleased with its success. Communication is the foundation to any partnership, and I am confident Montana’s Election Administrators have the knowledge and skills they need to run smooth and efficient elections in each of Montana’s 56 counties.


Montana Government Information Technology Conference

Most of us can remember the days before computers, cell phones and fax machines. The world has changed tremendously in the last 25 years, and Montana state government has consistently adopted new technology to better serve customers’ needs and expectations.

 

Secretary McCulloch reviews the office website with Kathleen Ely, the agency web developer.

 

During the first week of December 2009, many of Montana’s Information Technology professionals met under one roof to share new applications and discuss the future of technology in state government.

The annual Montana Government IT Conference is regularly attended by staff from the Secretary of State’s Office, and this year, IT Manager Mark Van Alstyne led a presentation about how social networking sites and other web interaction tools have impacted government.

While improved customer service and security will continue to dominate the discussion, it has become increasingly evident that Montana state agencies remain interested in continued adoption of social networking tools and applications.

Records & Information Management

New technology and electronic capabilities have also influenced how we retain and manage records. Patti Borsberry, Records & Information Management Deputy, led multiple workshops at this year’s conference to address how records and data management must be aligned with business processes in order to alleviate an agency’s financial and legal risks. Essential Records identification and protection were also addressed, as highlighted by the September Vigilant Guard 2009 exercises conducted by agencies.


Are you the next “Treasured” Montana Artist?

Are you a Montana artist looking to expand your audience? Then apply to represent the art community as the Secretary of State’s next “Treasured” Montana Artist.

Each “Treasured” Montana Artist is given the opportunity to display their artwork in the front lobby of the Secretary of State’s Office, which is located in the historic State Capitol building in Helena. The rotating exhibit runs for approximately four months, during which time the artist will be publicly acknowledged and celebrated.

If you are interested in applying, contact Kima Rosling at (406) 444-4195. Digital or hard copies of the artwork you would like to display and a personal biography are required for consideration.

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