With one week to go before Election Day, Democrat Alexi Giannoulias visited Rockford, pledging to decrease wait times at driver’s license facilities, protect voter rights and stop corruption in state government as the next Illinois Secretary of State.
Giannoulias – the former Illinois State Treasurer from 2007 to 2011 – met with supporters on Tuesday, including Rockford Mayor Tom McNamara and labor leaders.
“Momentum and excitement for our campaign continues to build in the final stretch with a broad-based coalition of support from across the state,” said Giannoulias, who aims to build on the legacy of Jesse White, who is not seeking re-election this year. “Our message is resonating among Illinoisans who want solutions-driven leadership that brings people together, restores trust in government and delivers results for hard-working families.”
“Alexi has a comprehensive plan for how to improve the customer experience at Secretary of State facilities through modernization and ethical leadership, and he has proven himself as someone who will fight for Democratic values and ideals,” Mayor McNamara said. “I believe he represents the best chance to win this critical seat.”
Modernizing the Office
Giannoulias’s platform includes eliminating the “Time Tax,” or the time that Illinoisans spend waiting in lines and over the phone for simple government services. His “Skip the Line” program would allow visitors to facilities to make appointments online or over the phone and move to the front of the line upon arrival.
In addition, Giannoulias will seek approval of digital driver’s licenses, allowing Illinoisans to carry their identification on their phones. He will also introduce an app so drivers can receive renewal notifications to avoid fines and upload documents, so they don’t have to make in-person visits to driver’s facilities.
Protecting Voter Rights
While many states are seeking to make it harder to vote, Giannoulias will protect voter rights and find ways to make it easier and more convenient to register and cast ballots.
As Secretary of State, he will also make a technical change to the state’s Automatic Voter Registration (AVR) system so eligible voters are automatically registered and eliminate the extra steps that a voter needs to take when registering at a facility, making the registration process more efficient. In addition, he will allow pre-registration of 16- and 17-year-olds so they automatically become registered to vote when they turn 18.
Cleaning Up Corruption
Illinoisans are sick and tired of the corruption and self-dealing that has permeated state politics. The Secretary of State is the keeper of lobbyist registrations and statements of economic interest that public officials are required to file. Toughening ethics laws, increasing transparency and cracking down on unethical behavior among politicians and lobbyists will go a long way toward curbing corruption in Illinois.
Giannoulias’ plan will strengthen our ethics laws by banning elected officials from serving as lobbyists; extending the revolving-door ban on elected officials from lobbying after they leave office; expanding the authority of the inspector general; and increasing disclosure of lobbyist activities at the state level.
As the only candidate who has served as a constitutional officer in Illinois, having served as State Treasurer from 2007 to 2011, Giannoulias plans to bring his experience running a statewide office with hundreds of employees to the Secretary of State’s office, which is the largest in the country and is the largest state governmental organization in Illinois.
Giannoulias’s campaign has received 250 endorsements from elected officials, labor groups and political organizations from throughout the state, including SEIU, which represents more than 2,000 employees in the Secretary of State’s office.
The primary election takes place on Tuesday, June 28. Early voting has begun in cities and villages across the state and continues through June 27.
To learn more, visit www.AlexiForUs.com.