Giannoulias endorsed for secretary of state
Come January, beloved politician Jesse White will retire after 23 years as Illinois secretary of state.
As difficult as it will be to replace his character, it shouldn't be too hard for his successor to win over motorists, business owners and others with a slate of modernization ideas that should economize the office and give us a chance to take care of most of our business with the office on a smartphone.
The secretary of state handles more than driver's licenses and license plates, though. It oversees the state library system, registration of lobbyists and financial advisers, as well as the entire Capitol complex and provides official record keeping and protection of historical documents.
Democratic former state Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias of Chicago and Republican state Sen. Dan Brady of Bloomington know, though, that driver's services is what matters most to most voters.
We endorsed both candidates in their respective primaries.
Libertarian Jon Stewart and Republic write-in candidate Michelle Turney also are running.
Giannoulias has laid out a very specific multitiered plan to address what he calls the "time tax" Illinoisans have had to pay waiting in lines for licenses, car titles and more.
He advocates creating a smartphone app that would give people plenty of opportunities -- save for doing a driving test -- to download documents or fill out applications rather than waiting in long lines.
He also wants to put computer kiosks in driver's license facilities to move things along.
Don't have a smartphone? With a projected 50-70% decrease in foot traffic, Giannoulias says, some employees could be recast as customer advocates, helping those who aren't sure what to do or where to go to get through the facility quickly. He also advocates for community colleges to provide secretary of state outposts, especially where there are fewer state facilities to visit.
Brady has a similar approach to providing tech upgrades, but we're impressed by how well Giannoulias has laid his out.
Brady, for instance, pledged to cut license fees by $50, but he doesn't explain how he would make up for the half-billion-dollar revenue shortfall that would create. It feels like political overpromising to us.
Giannoulias' experience on the Chicago Public Library board -- at a time when book banning is all the rage, is important as well.
Giannoulias is endorsed.