CHICAGO
10/02/2012 12:59 pm ET

Voting In Chicago: Deadline Looms As Registration Dips From 2008 Levels

With a week to go until the deadline to register to vote in the upcoming presidential election, registration in Chicago is down by almost a quarter million people.

More than 1.27 million people were registered to vote in Chicago as of Sept. 10, the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners told WBEZ last week. And that's a decrease of about 225,000 from the final registration tally during the previous election.

Based on the most recent U.S. Census data, as many as 500,000 city residents are eligible voters who are not currently registered.

Langdon Neal, chairman of the election board, told the Chicago Tribune that he has yet to see the sort of buzz around the upcoming election that led up to the 2008 election, when President Obama inspired many young voters to head to the polls for the first time.

"There was clearly a lot of excitement, at least here in Chicago, around our president, who was from Chicago, that captured the interest of our young voters," Neal told the Tribune. "And I don't think we have seen that same level of enthusiasm yet."

Similarly, leading up to the March primary election, the number of registered voters in Chicago hit its lowest point since 1942, the first year when the city began to keep track of such matters.

While Obama stands little risk of losing the state of Illinois to GOP challenger Mitt Romney -- contrary to the recent claims of a certain pollster -- the stagnant registration figures in the president's hometown could point to a larger, nationwide trend of younger voters, who went 2-to-1 for Obama in 2008, not feeling the "Obamamania" this year.

The deadline for Chicago residents to update their registration or register for the first time to vote in the Nov. 6 general election is Tuesday, Oct. 9. Click here to check your voter status and -- if you are currently registered -- find your polling place. Cook County voters outside Chicago can register to vote here.

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