Non-profit trying to change IL voting age to 16

Non-profit trying to change IL voting age to 16
Updated: May. 15, 2018 at 8:26 PM CDT
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DU QUOIN, IL (KFVS) - A national non-profit organization known as Vote 16 is trying to change the voting age for local elections to 16-years-old in Illinois.

According to the organization website, the goal is to increase the political participation in younger generations by allowing them to start earlier.

Perry County Clerk and Recorder, Josh Gross, says he could see teenagers becoming involved in the voting process if given the chance.

"If you get people out to vote and experience politics at a younger age, it does stick with them through their college years which is where we lose a lot of our voters," he said.

Although some southern Illinois residents don't seem to agree. Many adults we asked say they don't think teenagers are informed enough on political issues or are mature enough to understand the repercussions of voting.

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However, Gross points out that today's youth have more access to information than any other generation before them.

"Kids follow issues a lot more in depth than they ever used to," he said, "They definitely have more tools at their fingertips than I ever did when I was that age."

One of the biggest questions when talking about this topic is whether or not this age group would be interested in exercising their right to vote.

One 16-year-old from Du Quoin we asked said she would because she's heard about issues in her town that she'd like to have a say in, but can't since she's underage.

Another Du Quoin 18-year-old who voted in the last primaries, on the other hand, said he doubts many of his friends would vote even if they could simply because they don't care enough about politics.

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