Wednesday, August 12, 2020
US flag

IL bill could excuse absences to vote

An Illinois bill now on Gov JB Pritzker’s desk for a signature would allow students who are eligible to vote to take up to two hours off on Election Day so they can get to the polls.

Senate Bill 1970, carried in the House by Rep Nicholas Smith, a Democrat representing Chicago, would allow high school students who are of age and eligible to vote a two-hour window on Election Day to leave school to vote in an election.

The bill would take effect in July, just months before the 2020 presidential election, and it has a few detractors.

For example, Rep Mark Batinick, a Republican from Plainfield, said he thought the bill “coddles” students, who would have plenty of time outside school hours to get to the polls or complete mail-in ballots, according to a Capitol News Service report. He also expressed concern that the bill doesn’t require students to prove they used the time off to vote.

But the majority of state senators and representatives voted for the bill and sent it to the governor’s desk: 74-40 in the Illinois House and 40-10 in the Senate, a vote that was completed in April.

“We want to encourage our young people to be engaged in civics,” Mr Smith said during floor debate. “Here is an opportunity for them to band together, leave school for a couple hours just like people do when they are at work, and go vote and return to school.”

School officials will be able to designate the time for students to be absent, but the primary purpose of the bill was to ensure that absences used for this purpose don’t count against a school’s accountability data with regard to attendance and therefore don’t cause the funding for the school to be reduced.

Paul Katula is the executive editor of the Voxitatis Research Foundation, which publishes this blog. For more information, see the About page.

Recent posts

Voxitatis congratulates the COVID Class of 2020

2020 is unique and, for high school graduates, different from anything they've seen. Proms, spring sports, & many graduation ceremonies are cancelled. Time for something new.

Vertical addition (m3.nbt.2) math practice

3rd grade, numbers and operations in base 10, 2, 3-digit vertical addition practice problem

Rubber ducks (m3.oa.1) math practice

3rd grade, operational and algebraic thinking, 1, rubber ducky modeling practice problem

Distance learning begins as Covid-19 thrives

What we learn during & from coronavirus, a challenging & imminent crisis, will provide insights into so many aspects of our lives.

Calif. h.s. choir sings with social distancing

Performances with the assistance of technology can spread inspiration across the globe even as the coronavirus spreads illness and disease.

Families plan to stay healthy during closures

Although schools are doing what they can to keep students learning and healthy during the coronavirus outbreak, that duty now shifts to parents.

Illinois temporarily closes all schools

IL schools will be closed on Tuesday, March 17, through at least March 30. Schools in 18 states are now closed due to coronavirus.

Coronavirus closures & cancellations

Many schools are closed and sports tournaments cancelled across America during what the president called a national emergency: coronavirus.

Coronavirus closes schools in Seattle

The coronavirus pandemic has caused colleges to cancel classes, and now Seattle Public Schools became the nation's first large district to cancel classes due to the virus.

Most detailed images ever of the sun

A new telescope at the National Solar Observatory snapped the most detailed pictures of the sun's surface we have ever seen.

Feds boost Bay funding

Restoration efforts in the Chesapeake Bay watershed received a boost in federal funding in the budget Congress passed last month.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.