simmons 053123SPRINGFIELD – To increase young voter engagement, State Senator Mike Simmons secured passage of an elections bill that will allow 16-year-olds to pre-register to vote so they may start voting as soon as they turn 18.

“The young have always played a key part in democracy,” said Simmons (D-Chicago). “The younger generations show again and again how engaged they are in social issues — allowing them to pre-register sends a message to youth that their voices are important and allows them to take that activism to the polls.”

Senate Bill 2123, allows an individual to pre-register to vote on or after turning 16 years old, with the registration on file with the appropriate election authority until the individual reaches 18 years old.

The bill includes other election-related provisions to increase voter turnout across Illinois. The bill establishes a task force to study the feasibility of adopting a ranked-choice voting system in certain elections, requires proposed Constitutional Amendments to be published in a newspaper’s digital equivalent, requires curbside voting at vote centers and counties with 500,000 or more residents to have at least two vote centers, and creates the Security of Remote Vote by Mail Task Force.

“This broad piece of legislation addresses many issues within our election system and will help make it easier for more people to vote,” Simmons said. “I am proud to be a part of its passage and to be from a state that continues to make it easier for people to vote, not harder.” 

Senate Bill 2123 passed both chambers and now heads to the governor for final approval.