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It's time to register to vote

If you haven't registered, the time is now

September 19, 2012|By Leonor Vivanco @lvivanco | RedEye

If you weren't 18 four years ago or moved or changed your name since, you'll need to register to vote or update your voter registration information if you want to cast a ballot for the upcoming presidential election.

Tuesday is National Voter Registration Day when national, local and grassroots organizations make a push to engage Millennials and get them registered to vote.

As of Sept. 10, Chicagoans ages 18 to 24 made up 8.6 percent – the smallest segment by far – of registered voters in the city, according to data provided by the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners. That percentage is down from 11.3 percent in the 2008 election, when the youth vote was influential in electing President Obama.

Currently, a total of 1.27 million people in Chicago are registered.

The Chicago Board of Election Commissioners is trying to reach tech-savvy voters by offering an online registration form.

To register, click visit bit.ly/S8aBWn and fill out the form. It has to be printed out, signed and returned to the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners by Oct. 9. If you don't have a printer, you can still submit your information online before Oct. 1. The Board of Election Commissioners will print it out and mail it to you for a signature.

It is not a complete online registration process but the closest Illinois will get to it given the state law that requires a "wet ink" signature on the original registration form.

A grace period follows from Oct. 10 through Nov. 3, three days before Election Day. Residents need to bring two forms of ID (including one that shows a current address), register in-person and immediately vote in the same visit to the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners on the 6th floor of 69 W. Washington St.

Early voting starts Oct. 22 and runs through Nov. 3. During that time, registered voters can bring a government-issued ID and cast ballots at any of the 51 locations open Monday through Saturday. Three locations will be open on Sundays. For a list of sites: bit.ly/dPBPvl.

Who's voting?

Chicago counts 1.27 million registered voters. Here's a look at the age breakdown as of Sept. 10, according to data provided by the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners.

Ages 18-24: 8.6 percent

Ages 25-34: 20.7 percent

Ages 35-44: 18.3 percent

Ages 45-54: 17.9 percent

Ages 55-64: 15.9 percent

Ages 65 and older: 18.6 percent

lvivanco@tribune.com

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