For immediate release

                                                                              Feb. 3, 2005

                                                                   For more information contact:

                                                                   Glen Tilot

                                                                              Jim Morrison

                                                                   (920) 490-7300


Project VOTE: Iraqi voters set example we should remember


GREEN BAY -- Images from another part of the globe are a vivid reminder that we should not take for granted our cherished privilege to vote, according to a Brown County group working to increase voter turnout.

Voters in the Iraqi elections this week sent a strong message that they were willing to risk their lives to participate in an activity they hope will strengthen their country and improve its quality of life, the co-chairmen of Project VOTE said.

“Think of what those voters were up against: threats of terror and the need for armed guards to protect them,” said Project VOTE co-chair Glen Tilot. “It’s hard for us to imagine holding an election under such conditions.”

Project VOTE co-chair Jim Morrison added: “Those voters sent a positive message that we should not soon forget. We can honor them – and strengthen our own country and community – by participating in the electoral process.”

The Project VOTE co-chairs also thanked the men and women of the U.S. Armed Forces for their bravery and their role in bringing the opportunity to vote to the Iraqi people.

Project VOTE (Voice of the Electorate) is a nonpartisan, issue-neutral organization that has been working since 2002 to increase voter turnout and awareness in Brown County. Its efforts have included candidate forums, public service announcements and voter-turnout competition among municipalities.

Tilot and Morrison said one striking similarity between the Iraqi election and the most recent U.S. election in November was the presence of long lines of voters eager to cast their ballots at polling places.

Project VOTE is reminding Brown County voters that they soon will have more opportunities to go to the polls. The primary election on Tuesday, Feb. 15 will feature a race for state superintendent of public instruction in addition to municipal and school board primaries. The April 5 general election will feature additional statewide and local contests.

While local elections typically have not had high levels of voter turnout, they are important elections and produce campaigns that are examples of grassroots politics at its finest, Project VOTE said. The group also noted that local elected officials can have a major impact on a community’s overall quality of life.