A high school voter registration effort led by Cook County Clerk David Orr netted nearly 5,500 suburban Cook County teen voters, including 3,423 17-year-olds eligible to register for the first time in Illinois.
"The enthusiasm displayed by students, teachers and deputy registrar organizations was phenomenal," Orr said in a news release. "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."
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Orr's office contacted 89 suburban Cook high schools, trained student deputy registrars, and conducted a video contest in which students said why they would register and vote. The office also organized "Democracy Week," a push with a number of civic and community organizations to conduct registration drives and spread the word about the new "Suffrage at 17" law.
Among the newly registered voters are 258 from Palatine High School; 140 from Schaumburg High School; 99 from Hoffman Estates High School; and 77 from Maine East High School.