* 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.”
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.