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Lemont High School students register to become first-time voters

Published: Friday, Feb. 14, 2014 2:24 p.m. CDT
(Dan Farnham -
Olivia Villarreal gets registered to vote during her American Problems class at Lemont High School.

LEMONT – Students in enrolled in American Problems classes at Lemont High School took time recently to register to vote in the upcoming primary election.

Representatives from the Cook County Clerk’s Office helped the students fill out forms for the class.

While 18-year-old students have long been able to vote, a new law allows students who are 17 to vote in the primary as long as they will be 18 by the time of the general election.

Social studies teacher Jodi Nye said she was responsible for coordinating the registration effort.

“This seemed to be the most efficient, effective way to get as many students registered as possible,” she said.

Nye said the goal of the class is to get the students to be active citizens, which includes voting.

Some students showed interest in being able to vote for the first time.

“Just being able to vote, I think it’s a good opportunity to become an adult,” said Olivia Villarreal, one of the students being registered.

Matthew Hackiewicz is among the students able to register under the new law.

“I think there’s definitely a benefit,” he said.

Nye said there is mixed enthusiasm among the students about being able to vote, which mirrors the attitude of the general public.

But even if a student does not vote in the upcoming elections, she said, it is important to learn about the voting process.

“Someday, I guarantee you they will want to vote,” she said.

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