Annual "State of the SOS" report now online

JULY 18, 2014 State of the Secretary of State

Highlights customer service, consumer protection
and election integrity innovations

LANSING, Mich. – Secretary of State Ruth Johnson released her annual "State of the Secretary of State" report today, which highlights department efforts to improve customer service, ensure integrity in elections and fight fraud.

"We have a great team and I think it's important to take a moment to look back, thank our staff who work so hard and acknowledge what they've been able to accomplish," said Johnson. "It's our way of recognizing how far we've come as we continue to work better, faster and smarter for the people of the State of Michigan."

The 2014 State of the SOS Report can be accessed by visiting Michigan.gov/sos. The Secretary of State's office has been successful in changing the way it does business because of partnerships with some of the state's best private and public leaders, new technology and by simply listening to what customers say they need, Johnson said.
Highlights include:

  • MI-Time Line – A new line-management system launched in the department's 10 busiest branches allows customers to use their phones or computers to "check into" line at the branch office. They can then stay home or run errands while they wait. The system calls or texts them as their turn is approaching so they can go to the branch.
     
  • ExpressSOS.com – Launched in late 2011, tripling the department's online services, ExpressSOS.com marked its 5 millionth transaction this year. For the first time, the Secretary of State's office is offering Print-N-Go. Most customers don't have to spend their birthdays waiting for tabs. Instead, they can order them online, print out a receipt and carry that until their tabs arrive in the mail.
     
  • New Partnerships – To expand access to the department's online services, especially for those one-in-five Michigan homes without Internet access, the Michigan Secretary of State's office has partnered with libraries and AAA Michigan to offer computer access at locations across the state. A new pilot program with Meijer, a Michigan first, offers two self-serve tab kiosks in two of their stores.
     
  • Traffic Safety – In addition to partnering with Ford Motor Co. to provide resources to teen drivers, including an app that allows them to track their required supervised driving hours, the Secretary of State's driver education program has been recognized for excellence by national traffic safety experts.
     
  • Saving Lives – A record 1.5 million people have been added to Michigan's Organ Donor Registry in the past three years alone. In fact, our state has gone from having just 27 percent of eligible adults registered to 47 percent.
     
  • Helping Veterans – In May, the Michigan Secretary of State's office launched a new driver's license designation for the state's 680,000 veterans. More than 6,000 veterans are already carrying the new license or state ID identifying them a veteran. Information helping veterans find the benefits they've earned and deserve has also been placed in branch offices throughout the state.
     
  • Elections – Advancements include the state's first-ever post-election audits, partnerships to promote campaign contribution transparency on the local levels and text and email election reminders for those who sign up. Additionally, the office is making strides in ensuring accuracy in Michigan's voter rolls by removing those who have died, moved and are not U.S. citizens. There is faster voter check-in thanks to expanded electronic pollbook use, strong voter registration efforts, including college visits and helping 1,200 newly sworn citizens register to vote after naturalization ceremonies.
     
  • Cracking Down on Fraud – With the launch of the Fighting Auto Insurance Rip-offs (FAIR) Task Force, Johnson is working with police, prosecutors and insurance industry leaders to fight insurance fraud.

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For media questions, please call Gisgie Dávila Gendreau at 517-373-2520.

Customers also may call the Department of State Information Center to speak to a customer service representative at 888-SOS-MICH (767-6424).