A record number of suburban Cook County residents are registered to vote in the March 18 Gubernatorial Primary Election, Cook County Clerk David Orr announced Monday.
Suburban Cook County now has 1,452,141 registered voters — an increase of nearly 13,000 voters from the previous record of 1,439,415 set in the 2010 Gubernatorial Primary.
This surge in registered voters comes on the heels of an ongoing effort by the Clerk’s office to scrub the voter rolls of ineligible voters. The clerk’s office expunged more than 135,000 voters from the rolls by utilizing the U.S. Postal Service’s National Change of Address (NCOALink) dataset, scouring county death records and identifying suburban voters who moved out of Cook County.
More than 36,000 voters were moved from “active” to “canceled” based on death records, confirmation that they had moved, voter request, or other methods, according to Orr’s office.
Nearly 100,000 inactive voters had their registration status canceled. These voters were already identified as no longer living at the registration address when they were made inactive. By federal law, they can be canceled now that two federal elections (2010 and 2012) passed in inactive status.
In addition, another 33,000 voters were moved from “active” to “inactive” because the Clerk’s office received a response to a canvass conducted via U.S. Mail to confirm their address, or the mailing was returned from the Post Office. If any of these voters show up to the polls to vote, they must provide two forms of ID, one with current address.
Meanwhile, voter registration outreach efforts by Orr’s office helped add eligible voters to the rolls.
Chief among these efforts was the campaign targeting 17-year-olds, in light of the new Suffrage at 17 law. For the first time in Illinois history, 17-year-olds may vote in a primary election if they will turn 18 by the November 4, 2014 General Election.
Nearly 5,500 new 17- and 18-year-old voters registered because of voter registration events held at 89 high schools around suburban Cook County in January and February. Of these new voters, 3,423 are 17-year-olds, 2,006 are 18-year-olds.
To search registration statistics by precinct or district, visit the Cook County Clerk's
online registration search tool.
Source: Cook County Clerk press release