New law allows state’s students to miss school in order to vote
Students in Illinois will no longer have to worry about potential repercussions of missing class in order to vote, starting with the November general election.
Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed legislation Wednesday that allows students to be excused from school for up to two hours to vote in primary, general and special elections or any election in which propositions are submitted to a popular vote, according to a news release from the governor’s office.
The state’s primary election is March 17, but the law will take effect June 1.
Students may be excused on Election Day or any day that early voting is offered.
The law allows for schools to set specific hours when students may be excused.
A group of high school students from Thornton Fractional North and Thornton Fractional South high schools brought the idea to state Sen. Elgie Sims, D-Chicago, who worked with others in the General Assembly, including state Rep. Nick Smith D-Chicago, to pass it into law, according to the release.
“The advocacy of the students in my district convinced me I had to sponsor this legislation, and their passion helped get it over the finish line,” Sims said in a news release. “Signing this plan into law broke down a barrier that has long made it difficult for them and other students throughout the state to vote.”