Illinois considers allowing minors to vote - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Illinois considers allowing minors to vote

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But a proposal that made its way to the senate now wants 17-year-olds to fill out the ballots in primary elections. But a proposal that made its way to the senate now wants 17-year-olds to fill out the ballots in primary elections.
Nineteen states allow minors to vote in primaries. Nineteen states allow minors to vote in primaries.
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SOUTHERN ILLINOIS (KFVS) -

It's a big question every election, how do you get more people to vote?

Some in Illinois say by lowering the voting age.

"What amendment gave 18 year olds the right to vote?" asked Mike Karoski to his government class.

In Karoski's government class at West Frankfort High School, it's 18 and 17-year-olds who fill the seats.

"26th," replied one student.

But a proposal that made its way to the senate now wants 17-year-olds to fill out the ballots in primary elections.

And this is how it works:

If that 17-year-old turns 18 for the November general election, he/she could vote.

The proposal was approved in the House by a margin of 95-22.

But not all of Karoski's students are on board with the idea.

"The underclassmen aren't as educated as seniors are. Being 17 myself, I don't feel that I have the responsibility yet to vote," said Hunter Griffith, a senior.

"They'll just go in and mark someone they don't know. All they hear is names, they won't know anything about them, they could pick the wrong person," said Hadin Restivo, a senior.

But any chance to engage more interest and get more bodies to the polls during election, Karoski says is a good thing.

"With the variety of courses and diversity we have at many high schools now, I think the students are being presented with enough information to be able to make clear and pointed decisions especially with the social media we have today," said Karoski.

Others feel it is a matter of the person becoming educating and getting involved in their community that will bring them to the polls.

"Some kids are really passionate about it and they know a lot about it, they should be given the opportunity to vote if they are almost 18, but not quite yet," said Kailyn Hammers, a senior.

A similar measure was introduced in 2009, but never made it past the House.

Nineteen states allow minors to vote in primaries.

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