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Today’s number: 7,867

Monday, Feb 24, 2014

* Illinois recently became one of 20 states which allow 17 year-olds to vote in primaries if they turn 18 by the general election. The AP follows up

Illinois election officials say nearly 8,000 17-year-olds have registered to vote in the March primary.

Under a new law, teenagers who will be 18 by the time of the November election may cast a ballot in the spring primary.

Rupert Borgsmiller is director of the Illinois State Board of Elections. He said Friday that 7,867 registrations came in from eligible 17-year-olds.

- Posted by Rich Miller        


29 Comments
  1. - Formerly Known As... - Monday, Feb 24, 14 @ 12:36 pm:

    Good for those 7,867 young people. They will make our state stronger for participating.

    It would be interesting to see where most of those registrations came from and how are we doing on our outreach to young people throughout the state.


  2. - PublicServant - Monday, Feb 24, 14 @ 12:36 pm:

    What’s the nearest polling place from the Quad in Urbana?


  3. - Mokenavince - Monday, Feb 24, 14 @ 12:39 pm:

    That’s good news, now these kids may be able to show the rest of us a thing or two.

    At 17 I was a genius.


  4. - hisgirlfriday - Monday, Feb 24, 14 @ 1:01 pm:

    @Public Servant -

    Been several elections since I was a Chambana voter but I believe some of the U of I residence halls have their own polling places.


  5. - wordslinger - Monday, Feb 24, 14 @ 1:15 pm:

    Good on them. I don’t know what the eligible universe it, but that number strikes me as strong.


  6. - John B - Monday, Feb 24, 14 @ 1:16 pm:

    I’m an avid CapFax reader and very proudly registered to vote on January 2, at 8:30am. As Treasurer of my high school’s Social Studies Club, I helped organize a voter registration-drive where twenty students became new voters.


  7. - RonOglesby - Monday, Feb 24, 14 @ 1:23 pm:

    I like seeing participation of young folks. And I get in the regular election they will be 18… But this still just seems goofy to me.


  8. - wordslinger - Monday, Feb 24, 14 @ 1:30 pm:

    Way to go, Johnny B!


  9. - YO - Monday, Feb 24, 14 @ 1:41 pm:

    Love it! Unfortunately my son will miss the 18 cutoff date by days. A shame. He’s plenty hopping mad about the financial turmoil caused to our family and his future by pension slashing.


  10. - A guy... - Monday, Feb 24, 14 @ 2:12 pm:

    Public Servant, unless you’re Doogie Hauser, you’re already 18 before you get to the quad in Urbana. This is more of a boon for HS guys like John B above who I commend. This is good. Forming a habit of voting while still in HS is a good habit to form.


  11. - Anonymous - Monday, Feb 24, 14 @ 2:15 pm:

    the last person youth followed was ron paul and his values.


  12. - A guy... - Monday, Feb 24, 14 @ 2:23 pm:

    Funny thing about youth Anonymous 2:15, they get older. If they’ve already formed the habit of voting, they’ll provide key votes when it matters most. but you’re right, those 4 years under President Ron Paul were brutal.


  13. - Demoralized - Monday, Feb 24, 14 @ 2:57 pm:

    @A guy:

    I was only 17 when I started college and a lot of my friends that went to high school were only 17 when they started college. We started school back in the day when you could start school as long as you turned 5 by December 1.


  14. - Anonymous - Monday, Feb 24, 14 @ 3:00 pm:

    Illinois has the longest gap between primary and general, so we may have more 17-year-old voters than anyone.


  15. - Hon. John Fritchey - Monday, Feb 24, 14 @ 3:20 pm:

    Happy to report that my daughter is one of those registered. She’s been coming to the polling place with me to vote since she was a baby and she’s pretty excited to be able to cast her own vote for me in a few weeks. As am I.


  16. - Susiejones - Monday, Feb 24, 14 @ 3:31 pm:

    Congratulations, John B! we need more interested young people like you and the other 7,866 who signed up to vote next month. good for all of you!


  17. - Steve Downstate - Monday, Feb 24, 14 @ 3:44 pm:

    Cool development. We should be humbled when a 17-year-old is engaged enough with the issues and candidates to seek out the chance to participate in the primary. I did likewise as a 17-year-old who would be old enough by November 1984 to participate in Michigan’s winter primary. Haven’t missed a statewide primary or general election since, and I’ve made a point of taking my son to the polls with me the last several years. May we always have enthusiastic young voters among us!


  18. - A guy... - Monday, Feb 24, 14 @ 4:30 pm:

    Demoralized, another year at home with mom woulda done you some good. LOL-teasing. For the last 30 years, you’ve had to be 5 by September 1 to get in. The past few years it’s even earlier. One of the benefits of early student ed was determining it was better to wait a bit, especially for boys. I’m from a family with 4 teachers in it; 2 public, 2 parochial. It’s among the only things they agree on!


  19. - A guy... - Monday, Feb 24, 14 @ 4:33 pm:

    Mr. Fritchey, Better make sure you occupy the voting stand next to her. Crazy things happen when new rights are afforded to the young. Better take her to breakfast before taking her to the early voting location! Good Luck John.


  20. - Timmeh - Monday, Feb 24, 14 @ 4:59 pm:

    =I like seeing participation of young folks. And I get in the regular election they will be 18… But this still just seems goofy to me.=

    Ron: The Supreme Court said a while back that restricting the African-American vote in primaries was as good as taking away their right to vote (particularly in cases where the general election isn’t going to be competitive). The primary is as much of the process as the general, so if they can vote in the general, they should get to vote in the primary.

    I think it makes sense. If you give youth a chance to vote when they’re younger and there’s more social pressure to vote (from teachers and other students), then that may translate into them voting more when they’re older. That’s good for the democracy.


  21. - Oh Come On! - Monday, Feb 24, 14 @ 5:57 pm:

    Voting due to social pressure seems too close to prohibited electioneering activities. No one ought to vote due to being pressured.


  22. - Just The Way It Is One - Monday, Feb 24, 14 @ 7:55 pm:

    I know some think that this law is progressive, but I just can’t agree with it. When you turn 18, you have as a young Adult in our Society earned the right to vote (among other things)– and not before then. But…it is what is now!


  23. - Just The Way It Is One - Monday, Feb 24, 14 @ 7:56 pm:

    That was MEANT to read above, “…it is what it is now!”


  24. - RonOglesby - Monday, Feb 24, 14 @ 9:39 pm:

    Timmeh

    Comparing 17 Year Olds to African Americans voting restrictions is a silly comparison… I wont even debate that with you.


  25. - Timmeh - Tuesday, Feb 25, 14 @ 12:15 am:

    I wasn’t debating anything. Simply saying that voting in the primary is as important of a right as voting in the general. Thus, if you’re able to vote in the general, you should be able to vote in the primary. Not saying that it was a tremendous injustice that 17 year olds couldn’t vote in the primary before.


  26. - RonOglesby - Tuesday, Feb 25, 14 @ 8:20 am:

    @timmeh

    oh, come on. Blacks were kept from voting in primaries in order to keep them from impacting the primary. It allowed whites to pick who the black could vote for yes. So yes primaries are important and keeping a voting group out of a primary based on race is unconstitutional…

    With that said, this is “feel” good. 17 YOs that will turn 18 by the general are not a “Voting block” that will change a primary. They were not disenfranchised by other groups keeping them from voting. Comparing the two is silly.


  27. - Frosty-The Snowman - Tuesday, Feb 25, 14 @ 8:34 am:

    An interesting poll would be to find out who those kids plan to vote for in the gubernatorial race. Are they kids of union members who were told to sign up and vote for Quinn? Or, are they independent minded kids who are excited about Rauner and his political message? It would be interesting to find out.


  28. - Logic not emotion - Tuesday, Feb 25, 14 @ 9:03 am:

    Off track topic; but…

    “Demoralized, another year at home with mom woulda done you some good. LOL-teasing. For the last 30 years, you’ve had to be 5 by September 1 to get in. The past few years it’s even earlier. One of the benefits of early student ed was determining it was better to wait a bit, especially for boys. I’m from a family with 4 teachers in it; 2 public, 2 parochial. It’s among the only things they agree on!”

    As an aside, I believe those Freakonomics guys did a study and it is apparently better to wait until those borderline kids are a year older. More mature when in class and generally bigger so better able to concentrate, less likely to get picked on, etc.


  29. - Logic not emotion - Tuesday, Feb 25, 14 @ 9:05 am:

    Back to topic: I have mixed thoughts about the 17 year olds voting in primary. Overall, I guess it is ok; but I’m definitely opposed if they try to codify that the deceased can vote (or have someone vote on their behalf)! ;-)


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