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Political rights for 17-year-olds expanded in Illinois

Political rights for 17-year-olds expanded in IllinoisSPRINGFIELD - Seventeen-year-olds soon will be receiving more rights when it comes to getting involved in the political process.

House Bill 6167, which was sponsored by Senator Terry Link (D-Vernon Hills), was signed into law today. The new law would allow 17-year-olds to vote in the primary of a consolidated election if they would be 18 by the time of the consolidated election. Consolidated elections are held primarily for local offices, like school boards, city councils and village boards.

“We should be opening up access to the voting booth for those who will be 18 to have a full say in who represents them at every level of government,” Link said.

The new law would also allow 17-year-olds, who will be 18 by the general election, to pass nominating petitions for candidates or for a question to be put on the ballot.

“This is about our next generation getting involved. The last thing we should do is tell them no,” Link said. “It gives our democracy a breath of new life when the next generation gets involved.”

The new law went into effect immediately upon the governor signing the legislation.

Sen. Terry Link

link-2014-150

30th District
Assistant Majority Leader

Years served:
1997 - Present

Committee assignments: Energy; Executive; Executive Appointments; Financial Institutions (Vice Chairperson); Gaming; Insurance.

Biography: Partner, Lake County Industrial Equipment; born March 20, 1947, in Waukegan; attended Stout State University; married (wife, Susan McCall Link), has four children.>