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New law will permit 17-Year-Olds in Illinois to participate in elections

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A new law will permit 17-year-olds in Illinois to participate in the primary elections, as long as they will be 18 by the general election in November. The law will take effect on January 1, 2014.

17-year-olds residing in the city of Chicago can begin registering on January 1 and must be registered by February 18 in order to vote in the March 18 primary. Registration forms will be available in the city's public and private high schools once classes resume on January 6.

The goals of the law are to ensure that someone voting in the November general election will also have a say by voting in the primaries and to register at least 25,000 teens in Illinois. The law, signed by Gov. Quinn in July, has made Illinois one of 20 states that allow 17-year-olds to vote in one way or another.

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