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****  Press Release  ****

 - For Immediate Release  -

CAIR-Chicago Mobilizes Muslim Voters for Illinois Primary Election

March 20, 2006

CAIR-Chicago plans to impact voter mobilization in the third congressional district

(Chicago, IL 3/20/2006) - The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR)-Chicago is currently mobilizing Muslim voters to actively participate in the Illinois primary election on Tuesday, March 21st. CAIR-Chicago has made nearly 800 phone calls, reaching out to registered voters in the third congressional district since last weekend, as a part of a large Get Out the Vote Campaign. Volunteers have been making phone calls over the weekend and weekday nights, reminding constituents that their votes in this upcoming election are vital to creating a visible Muslim presence.

Before Election Day, CAIR-Chicago actively registered eligible individuals to vote. During Eidul Adha in January, volunteers registered over 80 first time voters. Volunteers also registered citizens to vote at various mosques during the weeks before the registration deadline. “Our goal for the voter registration drives was to enable individuals who are already eligible to vote to cast their ballot and show candidates and their representatives that they are concerned about the issues, be they on a local, state or national level,” said Governmental Relations Coordinator Sadiya Ahmed.

In addition, on Election Day, CAIR-Chicago volunteers will be knocking on doors in the third congressional district, reminding voters to cast their ballots. “We want the Muslim community to cast their ballot regardless of which candidates they vote for” stated Ahmed, “constituents should understand that they have the power to change whatever it is in the political framework that does not work for them. Whether it is casting a ballot for alternative to status quo or simply to be an active participant in the political process, it will empower individuals with the ability to affect the policy making process.”

Ahmed noted that the third congressional district is one of the most hotly contested races in the Illinois primary elections and of concern to the Muslim community, where incumbent Dan Lipinski faces opposition from John Sullivan and John Kelly for the Democratic ticket. The congressional district houses one of the largest mosques in the Chicago metropolitan area as well as one of the largest enclaves of Muslims.

CONTACT: Ahmed Rehab, Director of Communications; (847) 971-3963

- END -



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