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December 27, 2004

Quinn urges Illinois citizens to cast a vote for the official State of Illinois Amphibian and Reptile before Friday midnight deadline

CHICAGO -- With the virtual voting booths officially closing at midnight this Friday, December 31, 2004, Lieutenant Governor Pat Quinn urged Illinois citizens to cast their vote for the official State of Illinois Amphibian and Reptile. 
Students and citizens across the state still have time to vote for one amphibian and one reptile.  After a tough primary, the final Amphibian candidates are the Gray Tree Frog, Eastern Tiger Salamander and American Toad.  Finalist reptile candidates are the Eastern Box Turtle, Common Garter Snake and Painted Turtle.
Six students from Jackson Middle School in Villa Park joined the press conference and campaigned with their favorite amphibian and reptile – each student to discuss the benefits of the candidates.
“This election has provided thousands of Illinoisans the opportunity to learn more about conservation and participate directly in electronic democracy,” Quinn said.  “Current numbers indicate an historic turnout in the making!  For the past three months, Illinois students and citizens have had the unique opportunity to learn about our environment and the vital role that amphibians and reptiles play in it.”
            Amphibians live in wet environments because their skin and egg membranes are permeable to water.  Due to their skin type, amphibians are more likely to show the affects from water pollution.  In addition to being good scavengers helping to clean the environment, reptiles help Illinois’ natural ecosystem because they feed on insects, other aquatic invertebrates, and plants.
“Our state is dependent on the Illinois River and its tributaries,” Quinn said.  “Amphibians are a good indicator of water pollution, and can help us gauge the health of our rivers.”
To participate in the official amphibian and reptile election, go to your virtual voting booth at www.LTGOVERNOR.IL.GOV and vote for your favorite amphibian and reptile before midnight this Friday, December 31, 2004.  Look for the link that reads, “Click here to vote for the new state amphibian and reptile” under “Current Focus.”
Quinn is the Chairman of the Illinois River Coordinating Council (IRCC), which is responsible for coordinating public and private funding for restoration of Illinois waterways.  Amphibians and reptiles help preserve and protect Illinois waterways.

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