Individuals who will be 18 years old at the next election are now able to fully participate in the election process under legislation sponsored by Senator Dan McConchie and signed into law by Governor Rauner on August 5.
“There's no reason to say that 17-year-olds have the right to vote and prevent them from otherwise participating in the election process,” said Senator McConchie. “Now, qualified 17-year-olds can sign and circulate petitions, pre-register to vote and act as deputy registrars. This new law makes the voting rights that 17-year-olds already have more complete.”
The new law also acts as an expansion of a 2013 law that allowed 17-year-olds who would be 18 by the general election to vote in the primary election. House Bill 6167 went a bit further to allow 17-year-olds the ability to vote in a caucus or a consolidated primary as long as they would be 18 when the corresponding election takes place.
“As the state has already decided that 17-year-olds should be allowed to vote in general primary elections for federal, state and county office, they then too should be allowed to have a say at the local level,” said Sen. McConchie.
The law is effective immediately.