Gov. Bruce Rauner has approved state legislation giving 17-year-olds expanded voter rights in Illinois.
The measure expands a state law from 2013 allowing 17-year-olds who turn 18 by the general election to vote in the primary.
Under the new legislation, which was signed Friday and takes effect immediately, 17-year-olds are allowed to participate in a caucus or consolidated primary if they will be 18 by the general election. They are also able to sign and circulate candidate and ballot question petitions and serve as deputy registrars.
Sen. Dan McConchie (R-Hawthorn Woods) was among the legislation's sponsors in the Senate.
"There's no reason to say that 17-year-olds have the right to vote and prevent them from otherwise participating in the election process," McConchie said in a statement. "Now, qualified 17-year-olds can sign and circulate petitions, pre-register to vote and act as deputy registrars. This new law makes the voting rights that 17-year-olds already have more complete."