CHICAGO
04/21/2011 02:49 pm ET | Updated Jun 21, 2011

Illinois Counties Have More Registered Voters Than Residents, According To Report

An analysis of census figures and voter registration numbers in Illinois reveals a baffling conundrum: fourteen of the state's 102 counties have more registered voters than voting-age residents.

Rock Island County is the largest county with such a discrepancy: its elections website lists 125,875 registered voters, while the latest census figures list only 114,359 residents 18 years of age or older. That's a difference of 11,516 people.

Other counties experiencing similar problems include Alexander County, which has a history of voter fraud problems, and other small counties including Hardin, Jasper, Massac, Mercer, Pulaski and Union, The Southern reports.

Does this confirm all the worst suspicions about Illinois -- the dead voting en masse, fraud run rampant? Not exactly, according to The Rock Island Argus-Q-C Online:

"As far as people voting from cemeteries, no, that's not what it means," [Rock Island County Clerk Karen Kinney] said. ...

"People move out of Rock Island County and nobody notifies us," Ms. Kinney said. "People die and no one notifies us. Those voters stay on file for two federal elections."

"This may look worse than it might be," Rich Miller at the Capitol Fax cautions, pointing out that Rock Island County hasn't purged its voter rolls since the 2000 Census. "Still, that seems a bit weird," he writes.

The Southern pinpoints the reason why counties haven't been able to properly purge their rolls: money. According to Massac County Clerk John Taylor, who hasn't done a purge in four years, counties are too strapped for cash for such an endeavor. Federal support is available, but counties have to front the money themselves and then wait for reimbursement, which many can't afford to do.

"It's an unfortunate situation," he said.

Correction appended: A previous version of this story cited the Quad City Times as the source of a quotation. That quotation came from The Dispatch/The Rock Island Argus/Q-C Online, not QCT.