How low can Chicago go? City's voter registration could be at all-time low for primary

February 14, 2012

Chicago's election board says the city could set an all-time low for voter registration in the upcoming primary. Under 1.3 million people are registered to vote in the city.

"We've seen a decrease in population," said Jim Allen, spokesperson for the board. "But we still think there are a lot of people who - for whatever reason - are giving up on the system, or are turned off by it."

Chicago lost about 200,000 residents in the last decade, according to once-a-decade U.S. Census figures. But Allen said other Census data indicate there are about 400,000 voting-age citizens who are not registered.

Voters have until next Tuesday to register if they want to cast a ballot on Election Day.

There's also "grace period" registration for people who miss the deadline, and don't mind travelling to the election board's downtown office. That grace period runs from Feb. 22 to March 13.

The Illinois primary is set for March 20.