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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 13, 2004

Quinn joins with the Brookfield Zoo to launch a statewide campaign for students and citizens to participate in the first-of-its-kind online election of the official State of Illinois Amphibian and Reptile

CHICAGO -- Lieutenant Governor Pat Quinn joined with the Brookfield Zoo to launch a statewide campaign for students and citizens to participate in the first-of-its-kind online election of the official State of Illinois Amphibian and Reptile. 
 
“There’s another election going on in Illinois other than the Presidential and U.S. Senate races,” Quinn said.  “Students and citizens will have an historic opportunity to learn about their civic duty through cyber democracy and select our official Illinois amphibian and reptile.” 
 
Brookfield Zoo is conducting the online campaign and will officially count the ballots to determine the new State of Illinois Amphibian and Reptile. 
 
Half-dozen students from Jackson Middle School in Villa Park joined the press conference and campaigned with their favorite amphibian and reptile, mounting each candidate’s platform. 
 
Students and citizens across the state will vote for one amphibian and one reptile.  After a tough primary election, 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.
 
To participate in this historic election, go to your virtual voting booth at www.LTGOVERNOR.IL.GOV and vote for your favorite amphibian and reptile.  Look for the link that reads “2004 Election Amphibians and Reptiles.”
 
“The amphibian and reptile selected will become a part of our state’s natural history, and will be used as an ecological teaching tool in classrooms for years to come,” Quinn said.  “I encourage everyone to log on and voice your choice for the new State of Illinois Amphibian and Reptile.”
 
Quinn was joined by Dr. Stuart Strahl, Director of Brookfield Zoo and President and of the Chicago Zoological Society; Steve Swanson, General Manager of the Grove for the Glenview Park District; Lori King, President of the Chicago Herpetological Society; Anthony Palmisano, Principal of Jackson Middle School; Carol Godoy and Pat Gagnon, 6th Grade Teachers of Jackson Middle School.
 
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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