Today, Chicago Alderman Pat Dowell, candidate for Democratic nominee for Illinois Secretary of State, released an innovative program for the Secretary of State's office. She is proposing that the Secretary of State implement a personal dashboard for each resident that could be viewed on their mobile devices or the SoS website.
"The Illinois Secretary of State Dashboard (ISSD) I am proposing is designed to increase ease of use for Illinois residents who require services such as drivers license renewals, license plate stickers as well as business related online registrations. Under my administration, Illinois will lead the nation in using technology," said Dowell. "We should not be lagging behind our neighbors."
"Think about all of the things that you can do when you sign in to your online bank account. You can check your balance, pay your bills, transfer money, pay your mortgage, and more. Imagine having that ease of use for the functions at the Secretary of State's office. Imagine being able to get a renewal sticker for your license plates, become an organ donor, and renew your driver's license online without spending hours waiting in line."
Michigan and Indiana have already begun increasing the functionality of their SoS websites, and Dowell stressed that Illinois should not fall behind. She noted that there have been some challenges, especially in Michigan where the site was down for five days because the site could not handle the web traffic. Dowell wants Illinois to learn from these experiences.
Dowell said, "I am committed to making the Illinois Secretary of State's website robust, nimble and secure. The ISSD dashboard will allow customers to be able to make online appointments, pay fees, and conduct online transactions from their desktop or mobile device. In a post COVID-19 world, we need to give the public access to remote features and services."
Dowell's plan will transform the current "billboard" style website to an online service center where people will be able to have an interactive experience. She says this is designed to improve the efficiency of the office and cut down the expenses.
Currently, users of the SoS website can find where to go and what to bring in order to accomplish necessary tasks such as acquiring state IDs, registering LLCs and so forth. Dowell's personal dashboard (ISSD) program will explore the possibilities of allowing people to schedule appointments online and access a variety of services.
For example, in order to renew license plates, the current webpage requires a registration ID and PIN that is located on a renewal notice received by physical mail or email. Emails are not always sent out for this service, and physical mail delivery has been extremely challenging this past year across Illinois. In order to obtain this information, the user must call the Public Inquiry operator, and then continue through the portal to renew. With the ISSD, this process can be streamlined as a constituent's vehicle information could be accessed through their unique login.
While there are certainly hurdles to overcome to implement an effective dashboard, this will increase the quality of life of Illinoisians as well as reduce the workload of current physical SoS locations and staff, and continue to move Illinois forward.
Pat Dowell will create a Personal Dashboard ISSD so the people of Illinois could sign into the Secretary of State website and look at a personal page that includes a variety of information such as: