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 1        AN ACT relating to simulated voting by minors.

 2        Be it enacted by the People of  the  State  of  Illinois,
 3    represented in the General Assembly:

 4        Section  1.  Short  title.   This Act may be cited as the
 5    Voting by Minors Act.

 6        Section 5.  Development of program.
 7        (a)  The State Board of Elections and the State Board  of
 8    Education   shall   develop   a  pilot  program  under  which
 9    elementary and  secondary  school  students  in  kindergarten
10    through  grade  12  in  participating  school  districts  and
11    counties  may participate in a simulated election held on the
12    date of the general election in 2004.
13        (b)  The program shall  be  designed  for  implementation
14    only in those counties in which the election authority elects
15    to  participate in the program.  Each school district located
16    in those counties may elect to participate in the program.
17        (c)  In each  county  and  school  district  electing  to
18    participate  in the program, the program shall be implemented
19    in accordance  with  standards  jointly  developed  for  that
20    purpose  by  the  State Board of Elections and State Board of
21    Education.

22        Section 10.  Funding.
23        (a)  Implementation of the  program  is  contingent  upon
24    receipt of the necessary funding from private sources.
25        (b)  The  program  as  developed  by  the  State Board of
26    Elections and State Board of Education: (i) shall require the
27    formation of a nonprofit, volunteer administrative  board  in
28    each  participating county and a coordinating statewide board
29    that is also nonprofit and volunteer;  (ii)  shall  prescribe
30    the manner in which those boards shall be formed; (iii) shall
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 1    prescribe  the  responsibilities  of  those boards, including
 2    securing  the  necessary  private   funding   and   volunteer
 3    assistance  required to implement the program; and (iv) shall
 4    prescribe measures designed to assure fiscal integrity in the
 5    use of donated funds  and  equitable  distribution  of  those
 6    funds  for program purposes in the participating counties and
 7    school districts.

 8        Section 15.  Volunteer assistance.  State funds shall not
 9    be used for implementation of the program.  The program shall
10    be conducted  and  operated  with  volunteer  assistance  and
11    private  funds.  The State Board of Elections and State Board
12    of Education, however, shall develop the program as  required
13    by  this  Act  and  may  make  their personnel available on a
14    reasonable basis for consulting purposes.

15        Section 20.  Educational curriculum.  A component of  the
16    program  as  developed  by  the  State Board of Education and
17    State Board of Elections shall include a reasonable amount of
18    classroom instruction, as part of existing courses offered by
19    a participating school district,  concerning  voting  history
20    and   laws,  voting  procedures,  election  campaigns,  media
21    influence, and the importance of  voter  participation.   The
22    suggested curriculum shall be developed by the State Board of
23    Education and State Board of Elections by January 1, 2004 and
24    shall  be  made  available to school districts that may later
25    elect  to  participate  in  the  program.     The   suggested
26    curriculum  shall  be  based  upon 6 to 12 hours of classroom
27    instruction  and  shall  include  homework  assignments  that
28    necessitate dialogue between children and  their  parents  or
29    guardians  concerning the voting process and specifically the
30    candidates and propositions to be voted upon at  the  general
31    election.
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 1        Section  25.  Basic  program  requirements.   The program
 2    standards jointly developed under subsection (c) of Section 5
 3    shall require: (i) that children  register  to  vote  in  the
 4    simulated  election; (ii) that on the day of the 2004 general
 5    election the children accompany their parents  to  the  polls
 6    and vote on separate ballots in voting booths adjacent to the
 7    adult  booths; (iii) that the children vote on the same races
 8    and propositions as the adult voters, except that the  number
 9    of  races  or propositions on which the younger children vote
10    may be reduced as necessary based on their grade level;  (iv)
11    that  the  ballots be designed, using pictures and symbols as
12    necessary, so that all children may vote  their  choice  even
13    though  they  are unable to read; (v) that simulated election
14    judges participate at the polls  as  part  of  the  simulated
15    election;  (vi) that the results of the simulated election be
16    tabulated beginning after the closing of the  polls  and  the
17    results  announced  on  the  following  day;  and (vii) other
18    standards that the State Board of Elections and  State  Board
19    of   Education   determine  will  contribute  to  the  voting
20    experience of the children.

21        Section 30.  Report.  The State Board  of  Elections  and
22    State  Board  of Education shall develop the voting by minors
23    pilot program  and  distribute  it  to  all  county  election
24    authorities  and  school  districts  in  January of 2004.  In
25    addition,  before  January  1,  2004,  the  State  Board   of
26    Elections  and  State  Board  of Education shall jointly file
27    with the Governor and the General  Assembly  a  copy  of  the
28    program  together  with  a  written  report  recommending any
29    additional legislation necessary before actual implementation
30    of the program at the 2004 general election.

31        Section 35.  Timetable.  The State Board of Elections and
32    State Board of Education shall adopt rules  under  which  (i)
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 1    counties  and  school  districts that chose to participate in
 2    the voting by minors  program  are  determined  beginning  no
 3    later  than  March  1,  2004,  (ii)  the county and statewide
 4    boards  described  in  subsection  (b)  of  Section  10   are
 5    established  no  later  than  July  1,  2004,  and  (iii) the
 6    availability of sufficient private funding is  determined  by
 7    August   1,  2004,  along  with  those  counties  and  school
 8    districts that will be actual program participants.

 9        Section 99.  Effective date.  This Act takes effect  upon
10    becoming law.