January 16, 2008

CHICAGO (Jan. 16)—The UTU Illinois Legislative Board and the Illinois AFL-CIO are urging all UTU members to participate in early voting prior to the February 5 Illinois Primary Election.

“Railroad crew members work odd hours,” said UTU Illinois Legislative Director Joseph C. Szabo. “Few of us can predict whether we’ll be on or off duty between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. when the polling places are open February 5. The only sure way to make sure your vote weill be counted is to vote early.

“And you can even register to vote on site and then vote immediately at the same location,” he said. “There’s no waiting period, and you don’t have to provide any reason or excuse why you can’t vote on Election Day. That also goes for voters who already are registered. You can walk into your county clerk’s office and vote right now.

“And I mean now,” Szabo said. “Early voting closes January 31. It will be here faster than you think.”

To find locations where you can vote early go to the State Board of Elections Web site at http://www.elections.il.gov/VotingInformation

Szabo stressed the importance of voting for candidates who have been endorsed by the UTU.

“The endorsed candidates are those with the best record for supporting legislation that serves the interests of UTU members and railroad workers,” he said.

For a list of candidates endorsed by the UTU, go to the “Endorsements” link in the left-hand column of the UTU Web site.

“The UTU does not endorse by party,” Szabo said. “Endorsed candidates come from both parties and receive the union’s endorsements based on one criterion–their willingness to support legislation that directly affects us as rail workers.”

“Be sure to bring two forms of identification with you, including one with your address,” Szabo said.

“It’s critical that all of our members and the adult members of their families vote,” Szabo said. “Irregular railroad working hours make it imperative that we exercise the early-voting privilege. Waste no time, do it now, and vote for the UTU-endorsed candidate.”