Election Day off for South students

Layla Mohamed, asst. news editor

This past Tuesday, Nov. 8, was Election Day,  a scheduled holiday after Illinois adopted a federal bill that established it as a state holiday for schools and public offices, according to the Illinois Association of School Boards. 

The Election Day holiday was created – to allow Illinois citizens time to cast ballots and vote by mail,  according to Senate Bill 825. Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker explains – the federal holiday provides additional benefits to citizens.

“The measure articulates the rights of Illinois citizens to vote by mail, allows those awaiting trial to cast their ballots, [making] a state holiday of Election Day 2022,” Pritzker said on Illinois Radio Network.

Illinois is one of 14 states where the Election Day is a holiday, Talib Virsam reported for Fast Company. The holiday serves as  a significant method  to increase voter participation, shorten lines in low-income communities, and reduces stress of having to vote during the work day, Virsam reported. 

Furthermore, having Election Day as a state holiday is not just beneficial for community members, school being closed on Nov. 8 allowed all eligible South voters to take part in the election, Cameron Muir, Associate Principal of Curriculum and Instruction said

“It’s important to be able to articulate [your] voice and be able to vote for the candidate that you believe [will best serve] you, the community, and the country,” Muir said. “As for young people in terms of engaging in voting and [being] interested in politics, your voice is being heard.” 

In preparation for Election Day, South’s political clubs, Young Progressives and Turning Point USA (TPUSA), teamed up to encourage first-time voters at South to take part in the upcoming election, Tara Tate, Young Progressives Club Sponsor, said.

“Civic action is one of many facets [in our nation],” Tate said. “[Young Progressives Club and TPUSA] tried to register anyone that was going to be 18 by the election to vote. We [also] did that with the League of Women Voters, a nonpartisan organization who has a goal of increasing voter turnout.”

Additionally, The Young Progressives Club and TPUSA partnership in the voter registration drive  allowed for the already small number of  students currently eligible to vote-to show up- to learn about their vote and register for the election, senior and Young Progressives Club member  Sara Khan said.

“It was amazing to see seniors register to vote and get interested in their responsibility as a citizen — the responsibility to vote,” Khan said. “Overall, more people learned about voting and registered. The turnout was greater than expected.” –

Some students were also a part of Cook County’s program, “Student Election Judges”, which allows – students to act as- student judges even before being eligible to vote.The program is responsible for making sure the election goes smoothly by delegating students as workers, and represents younger generations being a part of civic duty, senior John Tirpak explained. 

“New student voters are important because people our age are typically underrepresented in elections,” Tirpak said. “We are the future of this country. It’s important to make our voices heard. Voting is what holds our country together.”