Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Connect with us:

First-time voters from TF South parade to the polls

22 students register and vote during Friday’s Early Voting hours

by Melanie Jongsma

LANSING, Ill. (March 15, 2020) – The sun was shining on 22 students, a teacher, a principal, and a Trustee as they walked from TF South High School to the Lansing Public Library on Friday afternoon, March 13. They were carrying the two forms of ID they would need in order to register as first-time voters.

This was TF South’s second “Parade to the Polls”—the first took place in November of 2018 and eventually led to Governor JB Pritzker’s signing of Senate Bill 1970 at TF North High School. The bill allows students who are 18 or older to leave school for up to two hours to vote in a primary or general election.

Students paraded from TF South to the Lansing Public Library during Early Voting. (Photo: Melanie Jongsma)
They stopped for a commemorative photo outside the library doors. At the far left is Matt Cherry, Social Studies teacher who helped plan the real-life civics lesson. At the far right are Village Trustee Maureen Grady-Perovich, who walked with the group, and TF South Principal Jake Gourley, who helped ensure that everyone had the IDs they would need to register. (Photo: Melanie Jongsma)
From left: Hailey Stepp, Isabella Bonifazi, Dienye Obomanu, and Sianah Small studied the sample ballots before casting their votes. “We finally have a say,” said Bonifazi. “I actually get my voice heard,” added Obomanu. (Photo: Melanie Jongsma)
Stephanie Bruce (left) was so proud of her son, Ryan Allison, that she met him at the library in order to witness his first vote. The two often talk politics at home. (Photo: Melanie Jongsma)
Behind the glass walls of the library’s Quiet Room, voters ponder their options. (Photo: Melanie Jongsma)
Approximately an hour after arriving, the students had registered and voted, and Cherry (far left) shepherded them back outside where a bus was waiting to return them to school. (Photo: Melanie Jongsma)
But first, new voters Reyna Espinoza (left) and Madonna Ovoh stop for a selfie souvenir. (Photo: Melanie Jongsma)

TF South High School is located at 18500 Burnham Avenue in Lansing, Illinois.

Early Voting continues at the Lansing Public Library (2750 Indiana Avenue) through Monday, March 16, at 5:00pm. Election Day is Tuesday, March 17, and voters will then be required to report to their specified polling places to vote.

Melanie Jongsma
Melanie Jongsma
Melanie Jongsma grew up in Lansing, Illinois, and believes The Lansing Journal has an important role to play in building community through trustworthy information.