The student news site of Whitney Young Magnet High School in Chicago, Illinois.

BEACON

The student news site of Whitney Young Magnet High School in Chicago, Illinois.

BEACON

The student news site of Whitney Young Magnet High School in Chicago, Illinois.

BEACON

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Illinois Teen Voting for Dummies

Illinois+Teen+Voting+for+Dummies

Voting can be daunting to many of us who are turning 18 this upcoming voting season. If you don’t know how to vote, here’s the simplest Illinois guide for you. 

First:  Be eighteen years old by the time of the General Election. You can be seventeen on or before the Primary Election. Many of us students will have the power to vote soon, so that means if you plan to, make sure you register by visiting ChicagoElections.gov to begin. Registering online is the quickest way to register. Click Register to Vote, and then click Online. You will need your Social Security Number, State ID, or Driver’s Licence. You will need to claim one address. If you don’t have either ID, you will need to register through mail. On the website, you’ll need to click on Register to Vote/Change of Address and choose Mail. Print out the Voter Registration form, fill it out, and sign your usual signature,and send it to the Illinois State Board of Elections at 2329 S. MacArthur Blvd., Springfield, IL 62704. 

Second: Identify your assigned polling location. You can input your address on this website and find your ward. This will ensure the correct and closest place you can vote. 

Third: Ideally you should research candidates first, whether they’re national, gubernatorial or local. Assess what you believe in and what you’d like to see in our community and country as a whole. This will be tough, but introspection is key. Resources are at our disposal, so use them! Visit the Illinois State Board of Elections website to research local candidates.

Fourth: After you’ve registered to vote, you’ll be sent a Registration Card. Bring your voting card and necessary ID to your polling place. Acceptable forms of ID you can show when you first vote include:

  • Current and valid photo identification
  • Bank statement
  • Paycheck
  • A government-issued document that shows your name and address

Great! You’ve got everything you need to begin voting. Now what? 

You can now vote online through ChicagoElections.gov, vote by mail, or at your local precinct polling place on Election Day. 

On Election Day, it can be nerve-wracking. The process is simple. You’ll go in, and present your Voter Registration Card and ID. You will be given a Ballot Card with an arrow on it and a Privacy Card. You’ll be led to the voting room. By then, you can insert your Ballot Card into the touchscreen machine and begin selecting. After you are done, your ballot will be printed. Put it in your Privacy Card, present the ballot to the worker without revealing it and they will sign their initials. Cast your ballot into the feeder and you are set.  Don’t hesitate to ask poll workers for help. 

 

 

Why do we need to vote? Politicians listen to money and votes. Increasing voter turnout can make even the slightest, but impactful difference in our communities. We are the next generation, and we must make our voices heard. As John F. Kennedy once said, “The ignorance of one voter in a democracy impairs the security of all.”

 

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