Didech's legislation would give students academic credit for serving as election judges
Amid statewide shortages of election judges, state Rep. Daniel Didech has introduced legislation to encourage college students to serve in that role in exchange for academic credit.
The Buffalo Grove Democrat said the measure could lead more young people to become involved in the democratic process.
"Strong democracies rely on the participation of their citizens, and that includes young people," he said. "This bill will not only help to ensure that we have enough trained and qualified election judges, but it will also provide a valuable experiential learning opportunity for college students to gain hands-on experience in the electoral process."
The bill has the support of Lake County Clerk Anthony Vega.
"Illinois has a long history of running elections that make it easy for everyone to vote, and this bill will help us continue that tradition," said Vega, a former student election judge.
If passed, the bill would allow Illinois universities and community colleges to create their own policies for awarding academic credit. While receiving academic rewards, though, students would not receive monetary compensation for their service.
If it is signed into law this year, student election judges would earn academic credit beginning with the 2024 primary election.