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article imageChicago: Purge of dead voters, enthusiasm-gap stifle registration

By Larry Clifton     Oct 8, 2012 in Politics
Chicago - Voter registration and enthusiasm are depressed in Chicago and Cook County, hometown of Barack Obama, compared to 2008. The area hosted a huge registered voter increase benefiting the president in 2008.
Voter registration deadline is Tuesday, midnight, and officials say they don’t expect the same “unprecedented flood of last-minute registration forms as in 2008.” Election officials say teams of campaign workers aren’t out there scrounging for every unregistered voter they can find, and, “they don't sense the same level of sheer enthusiasm from voters," according to a Chicago Tribune report.
"It's nothing like four years ago," said Will County Clerk Nancy Schultz Voots. "Then we had a 40,000 increase in voter registrations. This time, we're not seeing that at all."
Will, DuPage, McHenry and Kane counties are projected to see increases as low as 1% compared to the 7% increase during the same time frame in 2008.
"Four years ago, there was this great level of excitement that spurred on lots of local voter registration drives at the street level with lots of different interest groups and the political parties searching out unregistered voters," said Bob Saar, executive director of the DuPage County Election Commission. "That sort of ground game isn't in play this time," he is quoted as saying in the Chicago Tribune.
In 2008, Lake County voter registrations spiked by 6 percent in 2008, however, this year, Clerk Willard Helander is not sure the number of registered voters will be close to the total registered in 2008, let alone show an increase. The county would need to collect about 7,000 more registrations by tomorrow at midnight just to break even with 2008 registered voter rolls.
Similarly, registration in Chicago and suburban Cook has shrunk over 12% t in the city and over 4 percent in the suburbs relative to 2008.
Cook County Clerk David Orr says a purge of deceased registered voters and a drop in enthusiasm are responsible for the decrease in registered voters.
Rahm Emanuel, former senior aid to President Obama, is mayor of Chicago.
More about chicago voter registration, Election 2012, 2012 presidential election, romney obama debate election 2012, Chicago politics
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