Long, hot lines reported at recently reopened Secretary of State offices

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CHICAGO —   With the temperature pushing 100 degrees, frustrated, hot people stood in line for hours to get into driver’s license facilities across the state Tuesday. 

Outside the driver’s license facility in Lawndale, the line snaked for several blocks. Debra Davidson said she had just finished six-and-a-half hours after getting in line at 7:30 a.m.

“One guy, I kept his space so he can go to the gas station and get water,” Davidson said.

The Illinois Secretary of State’s Offices just opened back up in June after being closed during the coronavirus pandemic. 

Everyone is being told to prepare for a long day as they wait for hours, sometimes with nothing to protect them from the elements. Social distancing and masks are required, and there are fewer employees to help. 

There are only a few things that can get done at the locations, while much of it can be done online. Visitors are advised to check cyberdriveillinois.com before going to a physical location. 

The Secretary of State has given people until November 1 to replace expired driver’s licenses, IDs and vehicle stickers. 

The Illinois Attorney General is investigating a threat made to Secretary of State Jesse White. A man posted online: “I’m not a fan of lynching but the line at the sec of state office is ridiculous.”

White questioned whether the word “lynching” would have been used if he were not Black.   

“I’m saddened that in 2020 there are still people out there who knowingly or unknowingly use historically despicable terms like ‘lynching’ to fuel the hate and divisiveness that are plaguing our country today,” White said in a statement.

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