Illlinois Gov. JB Pritzker on Wednesday (Jan. 22, 2020) signed legislation which will allow students to be excused from school for two hours to vote.
Senate Bill 1970 takes effect June 1, 2020, so it will not apply to the March 17 primary.
After June 1, the bill will allow students to be excused in a primary, general, special, or any election in Illinois at which propositions are submitted to a popular vote in Illinois.
Students can be excused to exercise their right to vote on a day in which early voting is offered or on the day of the election.
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 state Sen. Elgie Sims, who worked with the General Assembly and Rep. 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,” Pritzker said.
“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.
SOURCE: state of Illinois news release