Deadlines for voters loom large

Monday, December 31, 2007

Jan. 9 is the last day to register to vote in Missouri's Feb. 5 presidential preference primary. Also on the Feb. 5 ballot are contenders for replacing former state representative Nathan Cooper. The candidates are former state representative Mary Kasten, a Republican and a former state representative; Mike Keefe, a Democrat and former Cape Girardeau postmaster; and Steve Kinder, a Libertarian and a pharmacist.

Jan. 8 is the registration deadline for voters in Illinois, who cast ballots Feb. 5. Candidates range from county to U.S. Senate seats and primary candidates for office of the president.

The State of Illinois has posted a link to an amusing public service announcement on the perils of not voting. You'll find it at

Whether you live in Missouri or Illinois, register to vote in 2008. If you're already registered, make a commitment to vote. If you regularly cast ballots at elections, vote on every issue. If you are already doing all of the above, help get someone else involved in the process.

During the Nov. 7, 2006, general election, slightly more than half of Cape Girardeau County's 49,745 registered voters went to polls; also true in Scott County where 25,170 are registered; the 7,916 registered in Bollinger County; and the 12,016 in Perry County. Of the 7,760 registered voters in Alexander County, Ill., only 3,126 showed; of Union County's 16,237 registered, 7,086 cast ballots.

After a reader suggested voting should be switched to Saturday, I blogged about how Tuesday became the default election day. Other readers responded by posting suggestions for everything from 24-hour voting cycles to fines for those who don't vote. One poster indicated a preference for fewer folks casting ballots to avoid diluting "the pool of educated voters with more folks who will be apt to vote for whoever has a name they are familiar with."

Add your suggestions and opinions to the "Why vote on Tuesdays?" entry at

Today is the last day to pay 2007 taxes. Collectors offices are open. Scott County residents may pay online by visiting; call 573-545-3548 with questions. In Cape Girardeau County, taxes can be paid in person at 1 Barton Square in Jackson, or 44 N. Lorimier St. in Cape Girardeau; call 243-4476 for details.

Penny A. Williams, a recreation manager for the city of Cape Girardeau, has been named by Missouri State Park Advisory Board. Williams, 42, of Cape Girardeau, has a bachelor's degree in recreation from Southeast Missouri State University. Her term on the state board continues through April 15, 2009.

All government offices and the U.S. Postal Service are closed Tuesday.

Questions, suggestions or tips for Lost on Main Street? E-mail me at or call 335-6611, extension 127

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