Secretary of State

Des Moines (D)

Birth: January 25, 1966. Parents: John C. Culver & Ann Cooper Culver. Education: Political Science, B.A., Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University, 1988; Master of Arts in Teaching, Drake University, Des Moines, 1994. Spouse: Mariclare Thinnes Culver, 1993. Profession and Activities: Elected to first term as Secretary of State in November 1998, currently the youngest secretary of state in the nation. Chair, Executive Council Insurance Advisory Committee; State Commissioner of Elections; State Registrar of Voters; Chair, State Voter Registration Commission; Chair, State Advisory Committee for Postsecondary School Registration. Member: Iowa Executive Council; State Records Commission; National Association of Secretaries of State, serving on its Committee on Elections and Voter Participation, the Committee on Presidential Caucuses and Primaries, and the New Millennium Youth Initiative; Elections Task Force for the Council of State Governments. Consumer and environmental advocate, Iowa Attorney General's Office, 1991-1995. High school government and history teacher and coach, Hoover High School, Des Moines, 1995-1998. Member: Iowa State Education Association, Des Moines Education Association. Awarded a Fulbright Memorial Fund Teachers Scholarship for three weeks of study in Japan, Fall of 1997. Salary: $82,940. Term: expires January 2003.



State Capitol, Des Moines, IA 50319

(515) 281-8993

The Secretary of State is a constitutional officer elected every four years. Chester J. (Chet) Culver is the twenty-ninth Iowan to serve as Secretary of State. Since 1846, when Elisha Cutler, Jr. served as Iowa's first Secretary of State, the Office has expanded in scope and assumed significantly greater responsibilities. The Office is divided into four Divisions: Elections and Voter Registration, Business Services, Administrative Services, and Communications and Publications.

The Elections and Voter Registration Division encompasses many of the official responsibilities of the Secretary of State. Secretary Culver is the State Commissioner of Elections. In this role he supervises Iowa's ninety-nine County Auditors in the administration of Iowa's election laws and prescribes uniform election practices and procedures. Secretary Culver is also the State Registrar of Voters and his goal is to make Iowa first in the nation in voter registration and participation. Secretary Culver founded the Iowa Student Political Awareness Club (ISPAC), a nonpartisan statewide student organization designed to increase political and civic participation by Iowa's youth. The Office also sponsors the "Capitol Project," a 3-day conference at the State Capitol providing Iowa's high school students with the opportunity to experience government first-hand. Secretary Culver works with the National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS) and various state officials and organizations in a concerted effort to improve participation by all Iowans in the electoral process.

The Business Services Division is a service and records center for businesses in Iowa, the nation, and the world. Among its key responsibilities are the registration and authorization of domestic and foreign corporations to transact business in Iowa. In addition, there are currently over 100,000 active profit and nonprofit corporations filed with the Business Services Division. The Division is also responsible for the processing and administration of Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) filings and searches and maintains over 350,000 active UCC records. Annually, over 125,000 Financing Statements, Amendments, Terminations, and other UCC related documents are filed with the Office. The Division also reviews, files, and renews Trademarks, Athlete Agents, Waste Tire Haulers, Transient Merchants, Travel Agencies and Agents, and Postsecondary Schools. The Division is also responsible for commissioning and educating Iowa's 50,000 Notaries Public. Secretary Culver has utilized advances in information technology to improve business access to state government by expanding the Office's website to include accessibility to the Business Services Division's public records. On-line access to the Corporate and UCC databases is now available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

The Administrative Services Division along with the Communications and Publications Division perform a host of functions, ranging from scheduling and providing media information to implementing and promoting Secretary Culver's initiatives. They also record land patents, enroll all legislative enactments and preserve original documents, including the Iowa Constitution and Acts of the General Assembly. The Iowa Official Register ("The Red Book") and the Iowa Official Directory of Federal, State and County Officers are published by the Office along with many guides and forms prescribed by the Secretary of State. In addition, the Office files oaths of office, voluntary annexations, "28E" Agreements and acts as agent for service of process. Secretary Culver co-signs with the Governor all Commissions, Proclamations, Extraditions and Land Patents.

Secretary of State's Staff

Chief Deputy, Dean Lerner; Deputy for Elections and Voter Registration, Bob Galbraith; Deputy for Communications and Publications, Donn Stanley, Marilyn Monroe; Deputy for Administration, Joni Klaassen; Legislative Liason, Eric Bakker; Executive Officer, Rob Berntsen; Administrative Assistant, Molly Clause; Administrative Aide, Jody Gast