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Meh

Thursday, Sep 27, 2012

* There are no statewide races in Illinois except president, and Obama will cruise here, so this really means nothing in the larger picture

With two weeks left to register to vote, the number of people on Chicago’s voting rolls is about 225,000 less than it was by the time registration closed four years ago, election officials said today.

And it’s going to be tough, if not impossible, to make up the difference, because this election so far lacks the excitement of 2008, when President Barack Obama’s historic bid for the nation’s top office energized Chicago voters, said Langdon Neal, chairman of the Chicago Board of Elections.

* And this isn’t really a problem except for the tinfoil hat types

Efforts to purge voter rolls in three financially strapped southern Illinois counties are over for now, but state election officials say they are continuing efforts to clean up Illinois’ lists of registered voters.

Alexander and Massac counties at the southern tip of the state culled more than 4,000 voters from the rolls for reasons, such as death and moving.

“Having good, clean election rolls avoids any possibility of people attempting impersonation voting,” said Ken Menzel, an attorney with the Illinois State Board of Elections. “While it’s not a huge problem from what we can tell, keeping your rolls clean limits the opportunity for mischief along that line.”

For instance

In May, Alexander County was at 117 percent, and Massac County was at 106 percent. By early September, Alexander dropped to 80 percent and Massac dropped to 88 percent. Alexander County was able to cull more than 2,300 voters from its rolls that in May stood at more than 7,400 registered voters. Massac culled more than 2,000. Its rolls showed more than 12,600 voters in May.

That leaves Alexander County with about 5,100 registered voters and Massac with about 10,600.

Two years ago, 2,754 people voted in Alexander and 4,735 voted in Massac. Four years ago, 3,937 people voted in Alexander and 7,186 voted in Massac.

It’s not like we’re seeing more people voting than actually live there. It’s just that the counties don’t have the cash to purge their registration lists.

* OK, so let’s return to the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute poll

According to the 2008 Gallup World Survey, 47 percent of Americans have faith in the honesty of their elections, compared with the 42 percent average across the 134 countries surveyed.

More than half of Illinoisans in our survey (56 percent) said they had confidence in the honesty of U.S. elections—about the same level of confidence reported by Austrian or French respondents to the Gallup World Survey.

However, when asked about their confidence in Illinois elections, somewhat fewer (50.4 percent) had confidence in their home-state elections’ honesty. This is about the same level of confidence reported by Iranians or Czechs in the Gallup survey.

    • Republicans (60.7 percent) were more likely to say they do not have confidence in the honesty of Illinois’ elections than were Democrats (31.9 percent) and Independents (55.6 percent).

    • Similarly, voters Downstate were more likely to say they do not have confidence in the honesty of Illinois’ elections (50.7 percent) than were voters in Chicago (40.0 percent) or in the Chicago suburbs (43.3 percent).

Old myths die hard.

We had two very close elections in 2010, the Republican gubernatorial primary and the gubernatorial general. Fraud was not an issue in either.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

4 Comments
  1. - wordslinger - Thursday, Sep 27, 12 @ 10:44 am:

    Old myths do die hard. One of the oldest, and related to the polling, is that Daley I stole the presidential election for Kennedy in 1960.

    The truth of the matter is that even if Nixon had won Illinois, he still would have lost in the electoral college.

    Daley’s legend as a presidential kingmaker is a myth as well. It’s true, he backed Kennedy at the 1960 convention, stiff-arming Adlai who wanted a third bite at the apple.

    But after that, not so much. He was irrelevant in 1964, a disaster in 1968, kicked out of the convention in 1972 and not a factor in 1976.


  2. - The Captain - Thursday, Sep 27, 12 @ 11:25 am:

    There are 110 election authorities in this state and they aren’t very good at communicating with one another. In theory if you move from one jurisdiction to another and register to vote at your new location the clerk should inform the officials in your previous location and let them take you off the old voter rolls. In practice that rarely happens.

    I’ve run a search on myself in various voter files through the years and found not only my current registration but past ones as well. It’s very common, and it’s why election day turnout numbers are never as accurate as they could be.


  3. - Frank - Thursday, Sep 27, 12 @ 11:28 am:

    Can someone explain what happened to the 225,000 voters from 4 years ago? Are those people who have died or moved away? Seems like a high number because people who were registered 4 years ago should still be registered today unless they inform the City, correct?


  4. - East Sider - Thursday, Sep 27, 12 @ 2:49 pm:

    As long as East St. Louis has its own election authority (which is bankrolled by St. Clair County), I will never trust any results out of St. Clair County. They’ve purged a lot of people off the rolls there, but it’s still a mess. The only reason the county continues to fund it is because the Democrats hold every single countywide office, and they depend on East St. Louis during every election to put them over the top. During every election, every precinct in the county reports (except for ESL), and the Republican candidates are always winning…and then magically, ESL turns in their results at the end of the night…and always has the correct number of votes to safely put the Dems over the top. And I won’t even get into the fact that the banks in town are always out of $5 bills on election day.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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