David Orr, Cook County Clerk
         

Countywide effort yields nearly 5,500 new suburban teen voters 

3,423 17-year-olds registered under new Suffrage at 17 law

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
February 24, 2014

Courtney Greve: 312.603.0931 312.502.3267
courtney.greve@cookcountyil.gov

Jim Scalzitti: 312.603.0991 312.835.0817
james.scalzitti@@cookcountyil.gov

A high school voter registration effort led by Clerk David Orr netted nearly 5,500 suburban Cook County teen voters, including 3,423 17-year-olds who were eligible to register for the first time in Illinois.

“The enthusiasm displayed by students, teachers and deputy registrar organizations was phenomenal,” Orr said. “A habit of lifelong voting is born early, so the hope is these teenagers will vote in the March 18 primary and every election that follows.

Between Jan. 1 and the Feb. 21 registration deadline, 5,439 17- and 18-year-olds registered to vote in suburban Cook County, according to Orr.

For this countywide registration effort, Orr’s office contacted all 89 suburban high schools, trained student deputy registrars, and conducted a video contest in which students said why they would register and vote. Orr’s office also organized “Democracy Week,” a concerted push with a number of civic and community organizations to conduct voter registration drives and spread the word about the new Suffrage at 17 law. The Clerk’s office worked with groups such as the League of Women Voters, Constitutional Rights Foundation of Chicago, ICIRR, Mikva Challenge, Pastors United for Change, Top Ladies of Distinction, Delta Sigma Theta, Omega Psi Phi and the Rainbow PUSH Coalition.

Students who may not be able to make it to the polls on Election Day may apply online for a mail ballot or vote at one of the county’s Early Voting sites between March 3–15.

Of the new voters, 3,423 are 17-year-olds eligible to vote in 2014, and 2,006 are 18-year-olds. Half of the new registrants were male, and half were female.

Following are totals from some of the high schools that had voter registration drives.

SCHOOL

NEW VOTERS

SCHOOL

NEW VOTERS

Lyons Township

423

Proviso Math & Science

117

New Trier

309

Loyola Academy

104

Oak Forest

200

Sandburg

103

Palatine

258

Riverside-Brookfield

100

Bremen

135

Schaumburg

140

Glenbrook North

128

Hoffman Estates

99

Lemont

231

Nazareth

90

Bloom Trail

110

Thornton Fractional South

130

Thornwood

80

Maine East

77

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