NORTHBROOK, Ill. – State Rep. Jonathan Carroll, D-Northbrook, is working for increased civic engagement and fairer access for new voters with his support of legislation to provide eligible high schools students with two hours off school to vote.
“We have to do a better job getting young people engaged in electing their government,” Carroll said. “High schoolers have a lot going on, and often not a lot of control over the demands on their time. Giving them a clear opening to exercise their right to take part in the electoral process is the right thing to do.”
Carroll supported Senate Bill 1970, which gives all students who are legally allowed to vote the right to request a two-hour excused absence from school on the day of the election to vote in a primary, general or special election. This window is available up to 15 days before the election to allow for early voting opportunities, and schools may specify the hours an eligible student may be absent. Carroll wants to ensure that young people take an active role in government by providing them with more opportunities to vote.
“This legislation will ensure students have an opportunity to make their voices heard,” Carroll said. “They are future leaders and have the ability to make positive changes for their communities, and by increasing access to voting, they can start making the changes they want to see now.”
To extend youth outreach further, Carroll’s staff is open for high school internships. Students looking for a more hands-on approach to learning about government policy can call 847-229-5499, or go to Carroll’s office at 3153 Dundee Road in Northbrook.