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Our Chicago: Preparing for 2024 Illinois primary election

This story originally aired on ABC 7.

Nearly 104 years ago, the League of Women Voters was founded in Chicago.

It was February 1920, nearly six months before the 19th Amendment was ratified, guaranteeing women the right to vote.

Decades later, the league is active in all fifty states, working to protect and expand voting rights.

And people here in Illinois will have the chance to exercise that right, with the primary election coming up on March 19.

"So there are going to be items on your ballot that are for the primary, and there are also going to be ones that will be elected right then and there on the ballot," said League of Women Voters Chicago President Jane Ruby.

Those include committee person for your ward and delegates for the Republican and Democratic national conventions.

As for the nominating picks, "it's everything from president all the way to down to appellate judges and supreme court judges for all of Illinois," Ruby said. "You'll also will have county positions on your ballot as well, including water rec, and you will have some other sort of local items."

Ruby said all politics start at home.

"You know your elected officials dictate, how your streets get cleaned, legislation that affects your schooling and funding, and there's so much that happens on the local level that impacts peoples' lives every day, just as much who our elected official is that's sitting in the Oval Office," Ruby said.

She encouraged young people to make their voices heard. And here in Illinois, a new law that allows 16-year-olds to pre-register to vote.

"The way it works is they just type in their information on the regular online voter registration form, and they will be put into the system, so as soon as their birth date comes up, they will be automatically plugged into the voter roll," Ruby said.

Ruby went on to say, "The earlier we can get people plugged into democracy and paying attention and being a part of the change and realizing that their vote does matter, the better off we will be, the healthier our democracy will be able to function."

For more information on the League of Women Voters Chicago: