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Law will allow students to vote during school hours

A measure that gives students time off to vote during school hours was signed into law Wednesday with the support of state Sen. Christopher Belt, D-Centreville.

“Every vote counts, which is why it is critical to make voting more accessible for students,” Belt said. “I hope this encourages our young people to vote and show them that their vote is just as important as the workers who receive time off to go to the ballot box.”

Senate Bill 1970 amends the Election Code to allow students who are 18 or older to leave school for up to two hours to vote in a primary, general or any other election in the state that requires a popular vote.

The measure allows schools to decide which hour students can be absent to vote. Schools must follow the same rules set for employers and employees.

The new law will take effect Jan. 1, 2021.

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