ILLINOIS (WMBD) — After more than two decades, Illinois will have a new Secretary of State.
87-year-old Jesse White is stepping away from the role, allowing someone new to take the reigns.
Four Democrats are vying for White’s role. Chicago Alderman David Moore, Chicago City Clerk Anna Valencia, former Illinois State Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias, and businessman Sidney Moore.
Every candidate tells WMBD’s Matt Sheehan the office needs to be modernized. But here are some specific things each candidate said, on why they think they’re the best for the job.
David Moore said his background in the financial sector positions him to serve the people of Illinois.
“The office needs someone who’s a fiscal manager, number one, to make sure we can keep those fees down. Someone who can run an effective and efficient operation,” David Moore said.
One specific example of how to do this, Davis said, is through digital license plates.
“California, Arizona, and Michigan are using them. One of the things I want to do is make sure that we’re using those license plates, not only for safety. Where it would read out “stolen” on your car if your car is stolen, but also it’d keep you from going into the office three times,” David Moore said.
The Secretary of State is the State’s “Chief Librarian.” David wants to use state libraries as a way to train America’s future.
“I’m the first one in this race to talk about creating 122 youth engagement offices throughout our State. So our young people can have full-time internships through public-private partnerships,” David said.
Anna Valencia received Jesse White’s endorsement in the race. She said the Pandemic has shown government technology to be outdated, and she wants to change that.
“We want to first make a one-stop-shop digital portal and a mobile app where you can register a vehicle, a business, renew your driver’s license, all in one stop shop online or the mobile app. Even pay online,” Valencia said.
Anna told Sheehan this would help those who are unable to make it into a DMV physically.
“I also want to look at flexible hours. Offering Saturday hours and evening hours at least once a month, making those services mobile in the community. Ranging around the State wherever we can,” Valencia said.
Valencia introduced a reduced-term City sticker in the City of Chicago. She wants to do something similar statewide.
“Essentially, you pay as you go. But it’s an affordable option for people to come into compliance and not have to pay upfront all at one time,” Valencia said.
Alexi Giannoulias is no newcomer to politics. He was State Treasurer from 2007-2011 and also ran for U.S. Senate in 2010.
He echoes a lot of the same ideas as David Moore and Anna Valencia. But one he mentioned that’s different is his “Skip-the-line” program.
“That allows people to schedule appointments and not enter long lines or wait lines,” Giannoulias said.
Giannoulias said if elected, he would create a whole range of new jobs for Illinoisans.
“Most people don’t know this, but the Secretary of state’s office is effectively the SEC of the State of Illinois. We want to hire more investigators, more auditors, more lawyers and enhance financial literacy programs,” Giannoulias said.
Lastly, Giannoulias said he wants to use his office to protect the elderly.
“We want to introduce legislation calling for stronger safeguards to protect the elderly from falling prey. to recoup hard-earned dollars for fraud victims,” Giannoulias said.
WMBD was unable to perform an on-camera interview with Sidney Moore due to personal reasons for Sidney. But he did provide a written response on what he would like to see in the office.
Sidney said he would like to introduce self-service stations like the State of Michigan utilizes. He said he’d also like to keep fees down on licenses, plates, and stickers.
Lastly, he said he wanted to strengthen and protect Illinoisans’ voting rights, and ensure people out of state and those who have passed away, cannot vote.
WMBD is continuing to profile races that affect our viewers, while also providing one-on-one interviews with the candidates. Stay tuned on-air and online in the “Your Local Election Headquarters” and “On the Record” tabs for the latest.