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Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Don't be a lightweight - exercise your democracy

Wake up, smell the coffee and experience the "invigorating" wind chill - it's a new year, Des Plaines! For the entire month of January, PlainTalk's focus will be on making and keeping resolutions for the coming year, maybe even for a lifetime. Why? Because there's no place like a library to explore your options, weigh the benefits and costs of decision-making and build a toolkit for positive change and even adventure.

In case you've been, oh, living in a cave for the last few months, 2008 is a presidential election year in America. That means: it's time to make sure you are registered to vote, if you are legally eligible to do so, and spend time researching the pool of candidates.
Did you know you can register to vote at the Des Plaines Public Library? United States citizens living in suburban Cook County may register to vote during regular library hours. Two forms of ID are required and one of those must list the current address of the applicant. The deadline for registering for the February 5 primary election is January 8, 2008.

So get to the library this week, bring your up-to-date forms of identification and get registered. If you cannot make it by the January 8, 2008, deadline, there is still plenty of time to register for the November elections. Watch for another PlainTalk post later this month to introduce our Election 2008 voting guide. We're gathering the best, informative and bi-partisan Web sites where you can learn more about every candidate. For a preview of one such site, visit,
an organization dedicated to protecting voters from "pollsters, spin doctors, special interests, parties" and yes, sometimes the candidates themselves! It's a great place to find information outside of the mainstream media.

But in the same way that you cannot complain about never winning the Lottery if you never buy a ticket, remember: you've got no right to complain about government if you didn't cast your vote! At this time of year, we often focus on losing weight and renewing our health through bodily exercise. Register to vote and you can renew the health of our country by exercising democracy.

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