Illinois Governor Pat Quinn is expected to sign a bill that would allow some 17 year olds to vote in elections. There’s a qualifier though — only those who will be 18 by the general election will be allowed to vote. The Illinois Senate passed the bill 43-9, and the Illinois House passed the bill 95-22.
Illinois is one of the states where the Latino population grew rapidly in the past decade. In 2000, there were 1.53 million Latinos in the state, and in 2010, there were 2.03 million. As of 2010, 15.8% of the state’s residents identified as Latino. During the same time, blacks and whites left the state. Over a third of the state’s 773,000 Latino voters are younger, between the ages of 18 and 29.
If Quinn signs the bill, Illinois will become the 20th state to allow 17 year olds to vote.