Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker has signed legislation that would allow students to be excused from school for two hours to vote in a primary, general, special, or any election in Illinois at which propositions are submitted to a popular vote in Illinois.
On a day in which early voting is offered, or on the day of the election, students can be excused to exercise their right to vote. Under the legislation, the school may specify the hours in which students may be excused.
Students from Thornton Fractional North High School and Thornton Fractional South High School brought the idea to Senator Elgie Sims, who worked with the General Assembly and Representative Nick Smith to pass the law.
“With this new law, our voting-eligible young people will have the freedom to fit voting into their school day without fear of repercussion for engaging in the very civic education we should all be proud to encourage. The young people who advocated for this legislation recognized how important it is not only to vote but to make the act of voting as accessible for all who can vote as possible” said Governor Pritzker.
Illinois Senate Bill 1970 is set to take effect on June 1, 2020.
You can view the full text of Senate Bill 1970 here.