Our View: New voters

The power to vote now is in the hands of many more Illinois residents, and some students at Batavia High School are among a new group of individuals learning that they will be able to cast ballots this year.

A new law went into effect Jan. 1 that allows 17-year-olds to vote in a primary election, so long as they will be 18 on the date of the related general election.

“Our democracy is strongest when more voters raise their voices at the ballot box,” Gov. Pat Quinn said when he signed the legislation in July. “This new law will encourage young adults to take on their civic duties as soon as possible and make their voices heard in all Illinois elections.”

At Batavia High School, students learned about the new law Wednesday from director of elections Suzanne Fahnestock. Seventeen-year-olds also could register to vote during the event.

Getting involved in the election process at a young age is important, as it helps instill a sense of citizenship and can lead to a better understanding of the election process and what it means.

It’s great that Batavia High School chose to teach its students about the new Illinois law, and we would encourage additional high schools in Kane County to host similar events.

Other 17-year-olds who want to learn more about how to register to vote can visit the Kane County Clerk’s Office website at www.co.kane.il.us/COC or call 630-232-5950.

The sooner the better – the next primary election will take place March 18, and the next general election will take place Nov. 4.