As the second-largest constitutional office, the Office of the Secretary of State is visited by more Illinois residents than any other in state government. The office generates approximately $2 billion in annual revenue with about $1.2 billion a year designated for state highway construction funds.
The Secretary of State manages one of the largest computer databases in Illinois, keeping track of approximately 8.7 million drivers; 11 million registered vehicles; 466,000 corporations; 230,000 limited liability entities; 159,000 registered securities sales-persons; and 16,000 investment advisor representatives. The office also is an important resource for educating citizens about issues that affect their everyday lives, including anti-drunk driving, traffic safety, school bus safety, securities fraud, literacy, and organ/tissue donation.
The office’s functions are described in the Illinois Constitution, mainly addressing the Secretary of State’s duty to maintain official state records and the state seal. However, law and tradition have assigned many additional responsibilities to the office, which has one of the largest and most diverse collections of responsibilities of any of its counterparts nationwide. These duties are divided among 20 departments employing approximately 4,000 people, whose responsibilities range from maintaining the 20 buildings in the Capitol Complex, to overseeing the state’s network of libraries, to preserving some of the state’s most precious historical documents.
Still, to many Illinois citizens, the Secretary of State’s office is the place to go for a new driver’s license or license plates. As such, Secretary White has worked diligently to enhance customer service, promote safety on Illinois roads, and strengthen the integrity of the office.