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Last-Minute Voter Registration Down in Illinois

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Local election officials say last-minute registration is way down from what it was four years ago. At the county level, 30,000 people registered over the course of the last week in 2008, but so far only 10,000 have this week.

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It's the last day to register to vote, and many folks got the memo.

"I think voting is important, so I just wanted to come out today. This is my first time voting," said 20-year old Thaddeus Scott, who was too young to vote in 2008.

"I've been in Chicago all my life, but the last time I voted was Ronald Reagan's first term," said Joe Loughlin, who also registered this morning.

Local election officials say last-minute registration is way down from what it was four years ago. At the county level, 30,000 people registered over the course of the last week in 2008, but so far only 10,000 have this week.

"This time around I think Illinois seems like a foregone conclusion of how it's going to turn out on election day, so people aren't as motivated to participate, and that's unfortunate," said Courtney Greve, spokesperson for the Cook County Clerk's Office.

The Presidential race may, indeed, be a foregone conclusion here in Illinois. But as Jim Allen with the Chicago Board of Elections points out, that's not the only race up for grabs on Nov. 6.

"Every congressional district, every state lawmaker, judicial contests up and down the ballot, local offices up and down the ballot," said Allen.

Despite numbers being down compared to 2008, both the city and county expect a huge last-minute push today. "It's really wonderful that we have a line here," said Greve. "We want to see new people getting registered."

"I need to register to vote cause there are issues that affect me, so I think it's important that we get out to vote," said Victor Walker of Chicago.

U.S. citizens over the age of 18, who've lived in their precincts for at least three months, can register to vote at 69 W Washington St. until midnight tonight. They can also register at Cook County Courthouses until 8pm tonight, or mail in their registration, as long as it's postmarked today

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