Illinois one-step closer to lowering voting age

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Voting in Illinois may not only be for people 18-years-old and over anymore.

A proposal to allow 17-year-olds to vote in primary elections is heading to Governor Pat Quinn for approval. The teen-voters, however, may only cast a vote if they will be 18 in November for the general election, according to a report by the Q.C. Times.

The Senate approved the legislation 43-9. All Democrats in the Senate were in support of the measure.

State Senator Terry Link said he expects the change may increase voter participation.

“In some regions of this state, the primary (election) is the general,” said Senator Dale Righter. “I think that we should keep the playing field level.”

If Gov. Quinn approves the bill, Illinois would become the 20th state to allow minors to vote in primary elections.

In Iowa, 17-year-olds can participate in the presidential caucuses as long as they are 18 by the time of the general election.