CHICAGO – Working to support young voters and encourage civic engagement among students, State Rep. Justin Slaughter, D-Chicago, recently supported a measure that would give high school students greater access to voting.
“It is abundantly clear that young people are engaged in the political process, whether they are speaking out about climate change or participating in marches against gun violence,” said Slaughter. “The young people in Illinois and across the country want their voices heard, and in order to support that drive, we need to ensure that they have the ability to vote in important elections. This legislation expands access to voting and allows students to cast their ballots without facing academic consequences.”
Slaughter backed Senate Bill 1970, a measure that would give eligible students the ability to leave campus for up to two hours in order to vote in a primary, general or special election. Students would be able to leave school to vote up to 15 days prior to an election. The bill passed both the House and Senate and will be sent to the governor’s desk for consideration.
“The elections we vote in today will have a far greater and lasting impact on the lives and futures of young people in our communities, so it is critical that they have a say in them,” said Slaughter. “In order to build a stronger Illinois, we need to make sure we are supporting young people’s political engagement and encouraging them to participate in their civic duties.”