Governor J.B. Pritzker signed legislation yesterday which will allow students to be excused from school for two hours to vote in elections. 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.
Senator Elgie Sims of the South Side of Chicago who was chief sponsor on the bill explained that some of the push back on the bill from Republicans, questioning the need for students to have time to be allowed to vote. Sims said students asked him specifically to push for the bill to be passed so they could have a say in their local, state, and federal elections.
Students from Thornton Fractional North High School and Thornton Fractional South High School brought the idea to Sims and Rep. Nick Smith to pass the law. Senate Bill 1970 takes effect June 1st.