Voter Registration Deadline Tomorrow

October 9, 2006

The election is a full month away, but tomorrow is the last day in Illinois to register to vote by mail.

Illinois hasn't followed two neighbors that allow registering at the polls on Election Day. Minnesota and Wisconsin are among six states that offered Election Day registration in the 2004 presidential contest. The six averaged voter turnout 13 percent higher than the rest of the country. This year Montana is joining them, but there's no movement for Election Day registration in Illinois.

Former appellate court judge Abner Mikva says this disenfranchises citizens.

"It's a fact that working people, immigrants, others who are not too familiar with the political process do not become aware that there's an election season on until it gets very late in the game, until the television ads become overwhelming," he says.

That may be too late. After tomorrow, it'll take a trip to the local election authority to register. In Cook County, that's the clerk's office downtown. Registration closes completely on October 24.