Steve and his wife, Nicole, hail from Aberdeen, South Dakota. He is a graduate of Roncalli High School and received his undergraduate degree from the University of South Dakota. He later earned his Master's degree in Business Administration from the University of Sioux Falls. Steve has held positions within the South Dakota Republican Party, Wells Fargo, and United States Senator John Thune's office.
Prior to being elected in November as Secretary of State, the citizens of South Dakota elected Steve to two terms as State Auditor (2010 and 2014). As State Auditor, Steve was selected by his peers to serve as Vice-President of the National Association of State Comptrollers (NASC), as well as serving on the Executive Committee of the National Association of State Auditors, Comptrollers, and Treasurers (NASACT).
Steve's interest in public service was sparked at an early age by his grandfather, the late Joe Barnett, Sr. Joe served as Speaker of the House and Republican Majority Leader in the South Dakota House of Representatives during his 19 years in public office.
Steve and Nicole have four children; Emma, Henry, William and Lillian. Steve and his family are members of Saints Peter and Paul Parish in Pierre. He has been actively involved in numerous volunteer activities, including Junior Achievement of South Dakota and the American Legion Boys State programs. In his free time, Steve enjoys spending time with his family, pheasant hunting, and snow and water skiing.