Thousands of 17-year-olds registered to vote in Tuesday's primar - KMSP-TV

Thousands of 17-year-olds registered to vote in Tuesday's primary

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

For the first time ever, thousands of Chicago's 17-year-olds are registered to vote in this year's primary election.

A law effective New Year's Day permits 17-year-olds to participate in Illinois primary elections, as long as they will turn 18 years old by the November general election, according to a release from the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners.

Since Jan. 1, the Board has registered 9,044 young voters, including 3,444 who will turn 18 by the General Election, 4,641 18-year-olds and 959 19-year-olds, the release said.

"We're proud to have so many young people who can make history this election," Langdon Neal, Chairman of the Chicago Election Board, said in the release. "Thanks to a new law, this will mark the first time that 17-year-olds will be able to vote in the Primary Election if they will turn 18 by the November General Election. The idea of this law is to let those who will be 18 have the power to help decide which candidates will be on the fall ballots."

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