OP-EDS

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March 12, 2004

Vote in Illinois's primary March 16

The youth of America are constantly being reminded about the dismal voter turnout rates among 18- to 25-year-olds. Programs like MTV's Rock the Vote have failed to significantly alter voting rates in this demographic, which is convinced that voting simply will not make a difference. In an effort to get teens involved in the political process at an earlier age, California is even considering lowering its voting age to 14 for state and local elections.

The fact that the Democratic presidential nomination is all but decided might discourage even more young voters from the polls this Tuesday in Illinois' primary. But the Senate race is still wide open¬ówith no incumbent and several candidates on both sides of the political spectrum vying for the spot, the seat has become the most hotly contested race in the state this year. And with the Senate almost evenly balanced between the two parties, the seat is pivotal for both Democrats and Republicans.

We understand that the Illinois primary falls right in the middle of finals week, when students are inundated with papers and exams, but we all need breaks from time to time. We urge students registered to vote in Illinois to research the different candidates and tear themselves away from the library for a couple hours on Tuesday to do their civic duty.