Fresh Paint
Monday, September 20, 2004
More News From the IL-9th
More Young People Registering to Vote
Voter registration drives aimed at young people are turning 18- to 24-year-olds into an important variable in the presidential election, especially in decisive battleground states such as Michigan — where nearly 100,000 young people have registered in recent months — and Wisconsin, where the numbers are even higher.
This is good news indeed, assuming they're all going to vote for Kerry, and I believe most will. Now that a lot of them are trying to find a good-paying job, begin a family, continue their education, reality, not rhetoric, about the economy and that "W" stands for "Will-Lie-To-Your-Face", is setting in.

Good morning, all. Moving slowly at the moment after exciting weekend. And I hope all of you are moving slowly too, after registering voters, knocking on doors, sticking yourself bloody with Kerry-Edwards pins, etc.

I may have neglected to mention the context of all the pictures below and why, exactly, Joe Biden was allowing me so close. The event was the Illinois 9th Congressional District GOTV Kickoff Event at the Doubletree Hotel in Skokie, organized by our great rep, Jan Schakowsky, who does this every cycle. We got inspirational speeches and signage from all our local candidates.

A Powerpoint presentation from staffer Alex Armour filled us with a bewildering number of counts, breakdowns, and statistics, but luckily, as a well-trained organizer, he provided copies of the slides in our folders, along with tons of useful and practical information, including the definitive answer to How to Cast an Absentee Ballot, my second most asked question when I'm registering voters. First asked is How Do I Know Whether I'm Registered?

If you're reading this, you're already online, so I suggest you try some of the online links to the side for Chicago or Cook County. They will tell you your status and also where to go to vote.

Wisconsin people, you have Same Day Voter Registration. You can only vote by absentee ballot if you're already registered to vote.

Advice to all: Check out your registration status now. Different states have different requirements. Before you go to the polls, or when you go to register, make sure you have at least 2 pieces of ID with your as-registered address on them. So save those utility bills, get the driver's license renewed, etc. now.

I tell people to bring as much ID with them as they have. I would rather have too much and not get into it with some election judge than be turned away. These are techniques I've seen firsthand -- even on myself.

In 2000, I was turned away (illegally, I believe) from the polling place where I had voted for 12 years because I didn't have my driver's license with me. The Republican judge questioned me loudly and made it sound like I was trying to pull a fast one, a no no in the election line, but the mild-mannered Democratic judge wasn't about to cause a disturbance, so I left and had to come back.

In Illinois you have until October 5 to register. If you download a "Motor Voter" form, it must be postmarked on or before October 5.

BTW, Joe Biden has beautiful blue eyes. He puts his hands on your shoulders and speaks directly to you, sometimes giving you a little shake so you'll believe what he says about George Bush. He talks about the time he was interrupted at a football game on his cellphone by George, who wanted Biden to brief him on "Europe" the next week. Then he shifts his glance to another person near him and grabs them. He then says when he arrived at the White House George was sitting there all cocky, feet up, surrounded by 19 of his special staff and advisors, piles of briefing papers. Young George proceeds to ask him about his "friend" Chirac, and his "friend" from Germany, that Schroeder, sounding more and more uninformed and belligerent with each question.

Eventually Joe was dragged away from us to his next event. While all this was going on in the lobby, Jan and her people were making sure everyone volunteered to do something practical.

Speaking of which, I must go do something myself.

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