CHICAGO (CBS) — This is the last day to register to vote, and based on some numbers, not many Chicago area residents have.

As WBBM Newsradio’s Nancy Harty reports, just days ago, voter registration in suburban Cook County was down 50,000 compared with the general election four years ago.

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LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Nancy Harty reports

The county Clerk’s office says the numbers are in line with the last presidential primary.

Last week, the Chicago Board of Elections reported that registration figures for the city of Chicago were at their lowest level ever.

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As of Monday of last week, Board of Elections chairman Langdon Neal said 1.28 million people had registered to vote in Chicago. That was the lowest number of registered voters since 1944, the earliest year for which the city has records.

Officials estimated there were as many as 500,000 eligible voters who were not registered, based on figures from the 2010 U.S. Census.

Activity was expected to pick up approaching the deadline, and there is a two-week grace period for those who moved or otherwise need to register.

City voters can check their registration status by calling 312-769-7900 or by visiting the Board of Elections website and entering their last name and address. Voters outside of Chicago can check their status at the Illinois State Board of Elections website.

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Early voting begins next Monday, and runs through March 15 – five days before h the primary election.