The student news site of Glenbard South High School in Glen Ellyn, Illinois

The Independent

The student news site of Glenbard South High School in Glen Ellyn, Illinois

The Independent

The student news site of Glenbard South High School in Glen Ellyn, Illinois

The Independent

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Glenbard South Seniors and Some Juniors are Eligible to Vote in the Primaries on March 19th! This is Your Guide To Voting.

Source: Photo by Element5 Digital on Unsplash
Source: Photo by Element5 Digital on Unsplash

Glenbard South seniors, and some juniors, are eligible to vote in the March 19th Illinois primary election. If you turn 18 by or before November 5th 2024 you are eligible to vote in this election. The National Youth Rights Association reports that only seventeen states, including Illinois, have passed laws enabling seventeen-year-olds to vote in primary elections if they will turn eighteen by the general election.

What is the primary election in Illinois? 

The primary election, held on March 19th, is where voters choose which candidates will appear on the ballot in the general election in the fall on November 5th. The laws that govern primary elections vary state by state. Primary elections can be categorized as partisan or nonpartisan, as well as open or closed. The methods for determining primary elections can also vary by state. According to Ballotpedia, “In Illinois, a voter states his or her affiliation with a political party at the polling place in order to vote in that party’s primary. Because the voter does not have to register partisan affiliation in advance, Illinois’ primaries are considered open.” When given your ballot at the polls, you’ll be prompted to choose your preferred party.

The winner of the primary election in Illinois is the candidate who receives the highest number of votes cast for the office being sought, “even if the candidate does not receive a majority of votes cast” (Ballotpedia). To simplify, this means that the candidate is not required to have more than 50% of the votes to win, as long as they have the most votes out of the other candidates, they win. For example, a breakdown of votes could be 25%, 40% and 35%. The winner would be the candidate who received 40% of the votes. They won the highest number of votes but not the majority of votes. 

What if I’m not registered? 

If you are not registered to vote; that is completely okay! Same day voter registration is an option at many polling places on election day. This is called Grace Period Voter Registration. However, you must bring two forms of identification with you in order to register and be eligible to vote. One of these must be your drivers license/state ID or your social security number. Two forms of identification are also needed if you wish to change your address or change the legal name on your voter registration. 

One of the questions that will be asked if you register to vote is your permanent address. If you do not have a permanent address, you are still eligible. According to VOTE 411, the mailing address on [your] registration form can be a P.O. box, local shelter, advocacy organization, outreach center, or the home of someone who will accept mail for [you].”

What should I do if I’m already registered? 

If you are already registered to vote at your current address and precinct, you do not need to bring identification. You will only need to provide a signature. However, if your registration is incomplete and does not include a state ID or driver’s license number or your social security number then you will need one form of identification. 

Where can I vote/register to vote?

You must go to your specific polling place to vote which is based on where you live. If you are unsure of which polling location you are assigned to, visit this government website to assist you: https://ova.elections.il.gov/PollingPlaceLookup.aspx. The site asks for your zip code and street address to give you your polling location. 

In Illinois, you can register to vote on election day at these polling locations including the DuPage County Glen Ellyn Civic Center, 535 Duane St Glen Ellyn, IL 60137. Here is the complete list of polling locations that also allow same day registration in Dupage County: https://www.elections.il.gov/votingandregistrationsystems/earlyvotinglocationssearch.aspx. To find the location you should go to use this polling place lookup to help you. You can also go to the county clerk’s office to register to vote. 

If your polling place does not allow Grace Period Voter Registration you may go to the nearest polling location that does. Select ‘Grace Period Registration Locations’ on the website and you will receive a list of places that allow you to register on election day to vote. However, for DuPage county the website states, “The selected Jurisdiction has indicated that all of their Polling Places have Grace Period Registration on Election Day.” 

Important considerations:

Take time to research the candidates ahead of time. While this advice may seem obvious, phones are prohibited when voting. So you will not be able to make a quick google search to learn about a candidate once you have your ballot in hand. It is recommended to bring paper notes with you that you can reference with the names of the candidates you would like to vote for. 

When can I vote? 

According to the Illinois State Board of Elections, polls will open at 6 a. m. and close at 7 p. m. on March 19th. So wake up early and vote before school or head to the polls after school, whichever is most convenient for you. 

Why should I vote? 

Voting is our way as citizens to shape the course of our government and take part in the democratic process. The laws passed by politicians directly affect our everyday lives and it is our votes that give us a say in these decisions. Your vote is your voice, so use it and wear your “I Voted” sticker proudly.

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About the Contributor
Emma Pekkarinen
Emma Pekkarinen, Editor in Chief

My name is Emma Pekkarinen and I am a senior and one of the Co-Editors in Chief this year. When I’m not writing articles for The Independent you can find me reading, baking, or enjoying a walk outside. At South I also am a member of Speech Team and Model United Nations. 

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