Why The Hell Do Kids NOT Have School On Election Day In Illinois?
The 2022 midterm elections are on Tuesday, November 8th. Millions of Americans will be voting on who will be in office, out of office, bills, laws, and more. By millions of Americans, I mean millions of Americans over the age of 18 because you have to be 18 or older to vote. But for some reason, Illinois public schools will be closed on Election Day 2022 which is weird because they can't vote.
2022 Midterm Elections
• It's your American duty: If you're an American, over the age of 18 years old, and are legally allowed to vote, you have to vote. We the people of the United States of America have a constitutional right to vote for people who make decisions for us. Whether you're on the right side of the aisle, the left side of the aisle, or passed on drunk in the aisle, you have to vote.
• When do I vote?: Tuesday, November 8th, 2022, is the midterm elections.
• What's a midterm election?: Every two years, one-third of the Senate’s members are either elected (or reelected) or vacate the seat at the end of the term. When this biennial contest does not coincide with a presidential election, it is called a “midterm election.”
• Where do I vote?: It's super easy to find that. Go to vote.org to not only find your polling place but also to check if you're registered, details about early voting, and more.
Do I Get The Day Off To Vote?
• It depends: It depends on where you work and what state you live in. Most states don't let you have the entire day off, but they let you leave during the workday to go vote. In Iowa, your employer doesn't have to give you time off unless you're working the entire time your polling place is open. If that's the case, they have to give you 2-hours to go vote. In Illinois, it's the same rules. You also need to talk to your employer before you peace out to go vote.
• Who gets the day off then?: That's where the state thing comes into play. Some states, including Illinois, have passed one-off laws claiming election days as a state holiday. That means state government agencies are closed and people get the day off unless the building is being used as a polling place and they work as polling people.
And yes, that means public schools in Illinois get the day off, too.
Kids Can't Vote But They Get The Day Off?
• Illinois passes a weird law: Back in May of 2021, the Illinois General Assembly passed a bunch of new laws about voting, one of which being that Election Day 2020 and Election Day 2022 are considered state holidays. That means Illinois public schools have the day off because, you know, kids can't vote.
• That's what we don't get either: Why do a bunch of underage kids who can't vote get the day off? Kids from elementary to high school will have the entire day off but their parents still have to work. That doesn't make much sense.
• What about teachers and high schoolers?: Sure. Teachers deserve days off because they deal with our bratty kids. Plus, they are over 18 just like the high schoolers who are 18 and can vote. But most polling stations across Illinois are open until at least 7 p.m. That's plenty of time after school to go and vote.
• What am I supposed to do with my kid?!: I don't know! My 8-month-old's daycare lady was sick and had Monday off. I brought her to the radio station to play radio with me and she had a blowout all over my desk. Welcome to parenting!